Ancient Monuments

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Gubbion's Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Great and Little Leighs, Essex

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Latitude: 51.8315 / 51°49'53"N

Longitude: 0.518 / 0°31'4"E

OS Eastings: 573597.763833

OS Northings: 217761.251632

OS Grid: TL735177

Mapcode National: GBR PJF.5RS

Mapcode Global: VHJJP.X7QB

Entry Name: Gubbion's Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016802

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33249

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Great and Little Leighs

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Great and Little Leighs and Little Waltham

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a medieval moated site surrounding Gubbions House, which
is situated on Banter's Lane, to the east of the village of Great Leighs.

The moated site includes a rectangular island measuring a maximum of 32m
north-south and 45m east-west. This is contained by a water-filled moat or
ditch fed by an underground spring. The moat measures up to 18m wide and at
least 2m deep, and is revetted on both the inner and outer faces with faced
stone, occasionally repaired in concrete. Modern footbridges across the east
and west arms of the moat provide access to the island.

The local antiquarian, P Morant, writing in 1768, stated that the `manor of
Gobions' was named after Sir Thomas Gobyon, who was in possession of the manor
from 1332 until 1349. The house which occupies the centre of the island dates
from the 17th century and is Listed Grade II.

The house, the bridges across the east and west arms of the moat, the stone
steps, the brick walls, the concrete walls around the vegetable garden,
concrete pathways, wooden fences and gates, oil tank, greenhouse and shed 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.

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 at Gubbion's Hall survives well. The island remains largely
undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for further structures, as well as
other features relating to the development and character of the site
throughout the periods of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the
ditches will contain both artefacts relating to the period of occupation and
environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the
monument was set.

The monument lies in an area where moated sites are comparatively numerous,
with further examples situated 3km to the south, at Whitehouse Farm, Great and
Little Leighs, and 2km to the east at Dines Hall in Great Notley. Comparisons
between these sites and with further examples from other regions will provide
valuable insights into developments in the nature of settlement and many
other aspects of medieval society in England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Morant, P, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex 1763-1768, (1769), 96-97
Wright, T, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1831), 207
Royal Commission for Historical Monuments of Essex, (1921)

Source: Historic England

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