Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Parsonage Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Chrishall, Essex

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Latitude: 52.0293 / 52°1'45"N

Longitude: 0.1054 / 0°6'19"E

OS Eastings: 544536.587741

OS Northings: 238854.085807

OS Grid: TL445388

Mapcode National: GBR L9D.PH4

Mapcode Global: VHHL1.S836

Entry Name: Moated site at Parsonage Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017684

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20684

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Chrishall

Built-Up Area: Chrishall

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex


The monument includes a moated site situated 650m north-west of Holy Trinity
Church, Chrishall. The monument includes a quadrangular moat measuring 42.5m
north-south by 45m east-west. The moat arms are waterfilled and are between
6m and 13m in width. The west, south and east arms are revetted with brick,
whereas the northern arm has been revetted in concrete. Outer banks 1m wide
and approximately 0.3m high surround the moat on all but the northern side. A
brick built bridge gives access to the island on the northern side and a small
iron and wooden bridge is built across the southern arm. An outlet pipe at
the south-west corner drains excess water from the moat. On the island is the
farmhouse which is listed Grade II. A waterpipe which crosses the eastern arm
of the moat supplies water to the house.
The house, bridges and waterpipe are all excluded from the scheduling though
the ground beneath them 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 at Parsonage Farm remains largely undisturbed and will retain
archaeological information pertaining to the occupation and development of the
site. The waterfilled ditches will contain environmental evidence relating to
the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Source: Historic England


Information from National Archaeological Record (TL 43 NW 4),

Source: Historic England

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