Ancient Monuments

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Wynters Armourie moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Magdalen Laver, Essex

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Latitude: 51.7525 / 51°45'8"N

Longitude: 0.1699 / 0°10'11"E

OS Eastings: 549880.107599

OS Northings: 208200.572946

OS Grid: TL498082

Mapcode National: GBR MG9.1SM

Mapcode Global: VHHMF.W6QX

Entry Name: Wynters Armourie moated site

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016804

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33251

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Magdalen Laver

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: High Laver with Magdalene Laver and Little Laver

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a medieval moated site surrounding Wynters Armourie
which is located on the western side of the parish of Magdalen Laver and 1km
to the east of the village of Hastingwood.

The moated site includes a rectangular island which measures approximately 74m
north-south and 32m east-west. This is contained on the north, east and west
sides by a water-filled moat or ditch measuring up to 14m wide and at least 2m
deep. The house, which stands towards the southern end of the moated
enclosure, was formerly known as `Winters', and it is believed that this name
is derived from the family of Alice de Winter, first mentioned in 1248. The
house is Listed Grade II* and dates from the 13th-14th century.

The southern ends of the east and west arms of the moat, as depicted on the
1896 2nd edition 25 inch Ordnance Survey map, are now overlain by the modern
farmyard and associated outbuildings. This area is not included in the

The house and outbuildings on the island, patio, wooden fences and gates and
the brick steps are 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.

Wynters Armourie moated site survives well. The greater part of the
island is largely undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for structures
and other features relating to the development and character of the island
throughout its 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 such sites are relatively numerous,
enabling chronological and social variations to be explored. Further moated
sites are situated at Rolls Farm, Magdalen Laver, 400m to the south east, in
Matching Park, Matching, 3km to the north east and at Carters Green, Matching,
2.6km to the north east. Comparative studies between these sites and with
further examples from other regions will provide valuable insights into
development of settlement and other aspects of medieval society in England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1956), 103
Stokes, A H, 'Moated Sites Research Group' in Moated Sites Research Group, (1973)
Title: Ordnance Survey 2nd Edition 25" Map
Source Date: 1896
Essex Record Office

Source: Historic England

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