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Moated site known as Paslowes, 430m north east of Fouchers

A Scheduled Monument in Good Easter, Essex

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Latitude: 51.7786 / 51°46'43"N

Longitude: 0.3527 / 0°21'9"E

OS Eastings: 562397.429696

OS Northings: 211501.368589

OS Grid: TL623115

Mapcode National: GBR NHH.D0B

Mapcode Global: VHJJT.2K9C

Entry Name: Moated site known as Paslowes, 430m north east of Fouchers

Scheduled Date: 7 March 1974

Last Amended: 19 March 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016924

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33243

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Good Easter

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Good Easter St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a medieval moated site known as Paslowes located 620m
SSW of the parish church in the village of Good Easter, less than 40m north of
the River Can.

The moated site includes a rectangular island measuring some 32m north-south
by a maximum of 38m east-west, raised approximately 1m above the surrounding
ground surface. The island is contained by a moat or ditch, now dry, measuring
approximately 2m in depth and up to 10m wide on the north, west and south
sides and on the northern half of the east side. The southern half of the
eastern ditch extends into a wide rectangular pond which is now dry, measuring
approximately 26m north-south, 44m east-west and some 2m in depth.

A causeway, probably the original approach to the island, crosses the northern
arm of the moat. A shallow bank, up to 4m wide, is visible along the northern
and eastern arms of the moat and around the northern side of the pond,
presumably the result of periodic clearance of the moat during the time of
occupation. Two trenches cut into the island in the north east corner formerly
held World War II searchlight positions.

In 1068 the parish of Good Easter was owned by the collegiate church of
St Martin-le-Grand in London, and Paslowes represented one of four prebendal
manors which had their endowments in the parish. At an unknown date the four
manors were consolidated into two, and Paslowes came to form a single manor
with Imbers, a moated site 750m to the NNW.

The Samuel Walker map, which dates to 1623, shows an elevation of a large
house on the island with further associated buildings to the north of the
moat. The local antiquarian, P Morant recorded that Paslowes was a `large
building moated round' which, by the time he was writing in 1768, was no
longer standing. This is confirmed by the Chapman and Andre map of 1777, which
shows no evidence of a house on the island. The moated site is believed to be
named after Robert Passelewe who resided in the area in the first half of the
13th century.

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.

Despite disturbance to the site during the construction of two trenches cut
into the island to hold World War II searchlight positions, and some
disturbance from animals, the moated site known as Paslowes survives well. The
island will retain buried evidence for structures such as the houses recorded
on early maps, and other features relating to the period of occupation. The
buried silts in the base of the ditch will contain 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: at
least six others alone are known in the parish of Good Easter, and the three
other sites linked to the collegiate church; Falconer's, Imbers and Bowers lie
in particularly close proximity. Comparisons between the sites of these four
interrelated prebendal manors will provide valuable insights into developments
at this particular settlement and also provide wider insights into the nature
of settlement and society in the medieval period as a whole.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Morant, P, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex 1763-1768, (1769), 458
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)
'Essex Archaeology and History' in Moated sites in the parish of Good Easter, , Vol. 11, (1979), 63-65
Essex Record Office: T/M 26, Surveyed by Samuel Walker, (1623)
Title: Map of the County of Essex
Source Date: 1777
Essex Record Office

Source: Historic England

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