Ancient Monuments

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Moated site known as Marshalls, 290m south of Weald Place

A Scheduled Monument in North Weald Bassett, Essex

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Latitude: 51.7187 / 51°43'7"N

Longitude: 0.1336 / 0°8'1"E

OS Eastings: 547484.449353

OS Northings: 204372.909849

OS Grid: TL474043

Mapcode National: GBR LF9.BLP

Mapcode Global: VHHMM.82H8

Entry Name: Moated site known as Marshalls, 290m south of Weald Place

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017249

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33245

County: Essex

Civil Parish: North Weald Bassett

Built-Up Area: Thornwood Common

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: North Weald St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a medieval moated site known as Marshalls which is
located on a gentle west-facing slope 80m to the south east of the village of
Thornwood and towards the eastern side of the parish of North Weald Bassett.

The moated site includes a trapezoidal island measuring a maximum of 44m
north-south by 44m east-west. The island is contained by a water-filled moat
or ditch which measures approximately 8m wide. A causeway crosses the southern
arm of the moat. A shallow bank, up to 7m wide and thought to be upcast from
the ditch, is visible along the south and west arms of the moat.

The moated site is thought to represent the manor of Marshalls, which derived
its name from the family of Ralph le Mareschal (or Marchal) who held land in
the parish of North Weald in 1280. The manor descended through the Mareschal
family until at least the early 15th century. The local antiquarian, Morant,
stated in 1768 that the mansion house contained by the moat `is now
demolished'. The present day Marshalls Farm, which dates from the 17th century
and probably represents the successor to the moated site, is situated about
400m to the south of the moat and is not included in the scheduling.

All fences and gates 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.

The moated site known as Marshalls survives well. The island will retain
buried evidence for structures 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 fairly numerous, and is
situated in close proximity to three such sites, the moated site 350m south of
Dorrington Farm on the boundary between Epping Upland and North Weald Bassett,
3.4km to the north west; the moated site at Colliers Hatch, 3.7m to the south
east; and the moated site known as Wynter's Farm in Magdalen Laver, 4.5km to
the NNE. Comparative studies between these sites and further examples from
other regions, will provide valuable insights into the development of
settlement and many other aspects of medieval society in England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Essex - North Weald Bassett: Ongar Hundred, (1956), 288-289
North Weald Bassett, (1956), 284-289
Morant, P, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex 1763-1768, (1769), 150

Source: Historic England

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