Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 140m north east of Crimplesham Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Crimplesham, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.6087 / 52°36'31"N

Longitude: 0.433 / 0°25'58"E

OS Eastings: 564836.693536

OS Northings: 303995.108433

OS Grid: TF648039

Mapcode National: GBR N5J.G91

Mapcode Global: WHJPT.MPCG

Entry Name: Moated site 140m north east of Crimplesham Hall

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016485

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30562

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Crimplesham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Crimplesham St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a moated site situated at the western end of Crimplesham
village and to the south of Downham Road, which at this point formerly ran to
the south of the present line and within 30m of the north west corner of the
moat. The moated site is at the south west corner of a field which is named on
a map of 1839 as Talbots, and it is probable that it is the site of the
medieval manor house of that name.

The moat is approximately 10m wide on average and remains open to a depth of
up to 1.5m measured from the surrounding surface, although a small part of the
outer edge at the northern end of the western arm is known to have been
infilled. It is for the most part only seasonally wet, except for the southern
arm which has been modified to form a pond and is water filled, and it
surrounds a sub-rectangular central platform measuring approximately 32m
east-west by 30m north-south and raised up to 0.5m in height above the
prevailing ground level. The moat is crossed at the north west corner by a
dished causeway which is probably not an original feature, and a second
causeway at the south east corner is almost certainly of post-medieval date.
On the southern side of the central platform and separated from the adjoining
arm of the moat by an earthen bank about 0.5m in height, is an oval depression
approximately 0.8m deep, 23m long east-west and up to 10m wide, which is
thought to represent the remains of an internal pond.

Talbots was one of several medieval manors in Crimplesham and is recorded in
1371 when it was held by Stephen de Talbot. By the end of the 14th century it
had passed to the Derham family and remained in their possession until the
early 17th century when it was sold, together with Wesenham and Coldham
manors, to the Soames family.

Rustic benches on the central platform, modern flint walling against the
southern side of the internal depression, and fencing on the outer edge of the
moat and yard surfaces adjoining the western arm of the moat are all excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

The moated site 140m north east of Crimplesham Hall survives well, with no
evidence of post-medieval occupation, and is a good example of this class of
monument. The monument as a whole will contain archaeological information
concerning its construction and subsequent occupation, and organic materials,
including evidence for the local environment in the past, are likely to be
preserved in waterlogged deposits in the lower fill of the moat. The buried
soils beneath the raised central platform are also likely to include evidence
for earlier land use, predating the construction of the moat.
The identification of the monument as the probable site of Talbots manor house
gives it additional historical interest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk, (1807), 312f
Title: Crimplesham Tithe Map and Apportionment
Source Date: 1839

Source: Historic England

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