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Moated site at the Manor House, Arminghall

A Scheduled Monument in Bixley, Norfolk

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5945 / 52°35'40"N

Longitude: 1.3171 / 1°19'1"E

OS Eastings: 624764.41683

OS Northings: 304798.466461

OS Grid: TG247047

Mapcode National: GBR WJ5.9TZ

Mapcode Global: WHMTV.61GV

Entry Name: Moated site at the Manor House, Arminghall

Scheduled Date: 20 August 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018180

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30545

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Bixley

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Arminghall St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Norwich

Details

The monument includes the visible and buried remains of a moated site situated
on the west side of Arminghall Lane, some 650m north west of St Mary's Church
and 750m north west of earthworks marking the site of part of the medieval
village of Arminghall which are the subject of a separate scheduling.

The moat, which is thought originally to have enclosed a rectangular area with
internal dimensions of approximately 100m north west-south east by 93m, has
been partly infilled, but the southern arm and the southern half of the
western arm remain open and seasonally wet and measure up to 12m in width. The
line of the infilled northern half of the western arm and the probable line of
the western half of the northern arm are marked by a later and shallower ditch
up to 5m wide. An early 18th century map of Arminghall (then known as
Amringale) Hall Farm records the buildings and layout of the interior of the
moated site at that time, with the moat in the form that has survived. Along
the eastern side fronting the road it shows a long range of buildings with a
central entrance opening on to two yards - the Malthouse Yard and the
Courtyard. A building extending south westwards from the eastern range
enclosed the northern side of the Malthouse Yard which occupied the north
eastern part of the estimated area of the original moated site, although the
building itself probably stood to the north of the line of the moat. To the
south of the Malthouse yard were the stables and stable yard, extending to the
line of the western arm of the moat. The courtyard to the south of the
Malthouse Yard contained a detached building in the north eastern part, to the
west of the eastern range, and along the southern side of it was another,
larger building which was probably the main dwelling house. Between this
building and the southern arm of the moat was a garden known as the Little
Garden, and to the west of this and the courtyard and south of the stable
yard, extending to the western and southern arms of the moat, was the Great
Garden. The area designated the Great Garden on the map contains surviving
earthworks considered to be the remains of garden features and visible as a
large, rectangular raised platform standing up to 0.8m above the level of the
prevailing ground surface and occupying the southern half, with a smaller and
lower platform to the north of it. The area to the north of the stable yard
and beyond the estimated line of the northern arm of the moat is marked as
Dove House Yard, in which a circular dovecote is depicted. The buildings and
layout shown on the map are consistent with a late medieval or early
post-medieval date.

With the possible exception of a ruined wall of flint masonry which stands in
a position corresponding to the east wall of the stables as shown on the 18th
century map, nothing of these buildings remains visible above ground, although
the survival of buried foundations was confirmed during the laying of a water
main in the 1950s. On the southern side of the area marked as the stable yard
is a well head of 19th century date, although the well itself may be earlier.
The present house, which is excluded from the scheduling although the ground
beneath it is included, is of late 19th century date and, except at the
northern end, does not occupy the site of any building depicted on the 18th
century map.

Large parts of the manor of Arminghall were conveyed to Norwich Priory in the
12th and 13th centuries and, after the Dissolution of the monasteries, passed
to the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral. The moated site is believed to
have originated as the site of a medieval manor house and remained in use as a
substantial farmstead.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are the house,
the stable block which stands to the north of it, and all other associated
outbuildings, the surfaces of all modern yards, driveways and paths, service
poles and inspection chambers, garden fences and walls, included the 19th
century retaining wall along the inner edge of part of the southern arm of the
moat, garden and paddock gates and fencing and the remains of a footbridge
across the southern arm of the moat; although the ground beneath all these
features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 the Manor House, Arminghall, is a good example of this
class of monument, and the documented evidence for earlier buildings and
associated features, probably of medieval or early post-medieval date,
together with the surviving garden earthworks, give it additional interest. A
large part of the area within and around the moat is unencumbered by modern
structures, and although only the southern arm and the southern part of the
western arm of the moat remain visible, the remainder will survive as a buried
feature beneath the later ditches. The monument as a whole will therefore
contain archaeological information relating to the original construction of
the site and its subsequent occupation in the medieval and post-medieval
periods, and organic materials, including evidence for the local environment
in the past, are likely to be preserved in water-logged deposits in the moat.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, (1805), 421
Other
Title: C18 Map of Amringale Hall Farm
Source Date:
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:
Norfolk RO DCN 127/21

Source: Historic England

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