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Moated site of Hale's Manor and associated earthworks

A Scheduled Monument in Warham, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.936 / 52°56'9"N

Longitude: 0.9111 / 0°54'39"E

OS Eastings: 595732.154731

OS Northings: 341585.624611

OS Grid: TF957415

Mapcode National: GBR S7D.WPJ

Mapcode Global: WHLQR.ZG0K

Entry Name: Moated site of Hale's Manor and associated earthworks

Scheduled Date: 11 June 1976

Last Amended: 27 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018541

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30534

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Warham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Warham All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes the standing and buried remains of the moated site of
Hale's Manor, together with associated earthworks which include the remains of
fishponds, and is located alongside a westward flowing tributary of the River
Stiffkey, at the boundary between the parishes of Warham and Stiffkey and 750m
east of the village of Warham. The stream now runs in a straight, man-made
channel across the northern part of the moated site, but soil marks in the
arable field to the north of this channel have revealed the sinuous line of an
earlier water course, with a bridge opposite the moated site.
The moated site as a whole is thought to have been an inverted `L' shape.
The western and southern arms of the moat around the southern part of the `L'
survive as visible earthworks, approximately 12m wide and open to a depth of
up to 1.6m, with a later, much narrower drainage channel cut along the bottom.
The southern end of the eastern arm is also visible as a shallower depression
in the ground surface. These enclose the western side and southern end of a
sub-rectangular raised platform on which can be seen parts of the ruined walls
and wall footings of the house. The north western arm of the `L', which is not
raised above the surrounding ground level, extends to north and west of the
house and is bisected by the modern course of the stream. Beyond the north
western corner of the building, the western arm of the moat bends outwards,
continuing for a distance of approximately 25m along the south side of this
extension. The probable line of the moat around the north eastern angle and
along the north side has been traced as a curving soil mark and slight linear
depression in the ground surface, midway between the modern and earlier
channels of the stream, and many fragments of medieval roof tile have been
observed in the ploughsoil in this part of the enclosure. There is evidence
for a bridge or causeway across the northern arm opposite the site of the
bridge over the earlier channel. The southern part of the `L' has overall
dimensions of approximately 52m east-west by 45m, and the north western part
measures approximately 35m north west-south east by at least 60m.
The ruined walls and foundations of the manor house are constructed of flint
masonry and bricks of 15th century type and cover a large part of the raised
platform. On the western and southern sides and at the south eastern corner
the wall footings rise directly above the inner lip of the moat and can be
seen along the western side to stand on a vertical revetment of the inner
edge. The face of the revetment on the western side is rendered and includes
vertical and diagonal slots for timber beams such as could have supported
either a timber bridge or a timber framed superstructure. On the platform
itself, the exposed foundations and turf covered masonry define much of the
ground plan of up to three closely spaced buildings subdivided by internal
walls. Near the north western corner of the platform, a fragment of flint and
brick masonry still stands to a height of 2.7m, with the springing of an arch
on the south side, and in the south western corner traces of foundations
underlying a mound of rubble approximately 1m in height may be the remains of
a corner tower or gatehouse. A block of masonry on the outer edge of the
southern arm of the moat opposite the mound could be the remains of a bridge
abutment giving access to the garden and fishponds beyond.
The remains of the series of fishponds lie immediately to the south of the
moated site, opposite the building, and are visible as sub-rectangular dry
hollows arranged in two rectangular groups. The northern group, next to the
southern arm of the moat, comprises an east-west array of up to three parallel
ponds, although only the westernmost, measuring approximately 18m north
east-south west by 9m and 0.8m in depth, is clearly defined, with a longer
pond, measuring approximately 32m north west-south east by 7.5m and 0.4m in
depth, across the southern end of these. There are also traces of a possible
channel running north eastwards from the eastern end of the latter and linking
it to the south east corner of the moat, although it is largely obscured by a
modern field drain cut on the same alignment. Alongside this, in the adjacent
field to the east, is a low bank approximately 5m wide. The second group,
immediately to the south of the first, includes an `L' shaped pond up to 1m
deep and from 6m to 10m wide enclosing the northern eastern and north western
sides of a rectangular area which has internal dimensions of up to 35m north
east-south west by 32m, with a second pond along the south western side, both
ponds being embanked along the inner edges. There are traces of flint masonry
foundations for a wall along the outer edge of the north eastern arm of the
`L' shaped pond, and the narrower, north western arm contains the footings of
a small rectangular structure, open at either end and measuring approximately
7m north east-south west by 3.4m, which was probably a fish tank. About 14m to
the west of the fishponds, exposed masonry and parch marks reveal the line of
the partly buried foundations of a wall running south westwards from the south
west corner of the moat, and a low, roughly parallel turf bank in the field to
the east of the ponds is thought to cover corresponding foundations,
indicating that the complex may have been wholly or partly contained within a
walled enclosure.
Earthworks visible to the west of the ponds and of a type characteristic of a
late medieval or early post-medieval formal garden include a raised
rectangular platform with a terraced walkway running south west-north east
below the scarp of the south eastern edge. The surface of the walkway,
probably of gravel, produces parch marks in the overlying turf which have been
recorded on aerial photographs. Other parch marks which have been observed to
the north east of the probable garden remains and west of the moated site are
evidence for the survival of buried foundations in that area.
To the south east of the fishponds and extending for a distance of about 170m
along the southern side of the adjoining field, there are the remains of a
series of enclosures of varying size which are likely to be contemporary with
the occupation of the moated site and are included in the scheduling. These
enclosures are separated by north-south ditches and defined along part of the
south side by a slight bank and ditch. Along the northern side there is a
natural, north facing scarp approximately 0.7m high.
The manor of Warham Hales was held in the second half of the 14th century by
Sir Stephen de Hales, and passed by the marriage of his niece and heir,
Elizabeth, into the ownership of the Rokewood family. From them it came by
marriage into the possession of the Appleyard family, and during the reign of
Queen Mary (1553-1558) was conveyed by John Appleyard to Ralph Symonds. During
the later 16th century and the first half of the 17th century it was owned by
the Doyly family of Shotesham, and in 1709 was sold to Sir Charles Turner.
Field boundary fence posts 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 of Hale's Manor House and associated earthworks is a good
example of this type of manorial complex. The remains of buildings occupying
the raised platform in the southern part of the moated site are largely
undisturbed by later activity and will provide archaeological information
concerning the date of their construction, their occupation and eventual
abandonment. Evidence for earlier buildings on the site is likely to survive
beneath them. Further evidence relating to the construction and occupation of
the site will be preserved in the fills of the moat and beneath the ploughsoil
in the northern part of the moated enclosure, and for earlier land use in the
soils buried beneath the raised platform. The evidence that there are buried
remains of other buildings adjoining the moat on the north west side, and the
presence of what are believed to be medieval garden earthworks give the
monument additional interest.
Systems of fishponds such as that to the south of the moated site were often
constructed during the medieval period near manors, villages and monasteries
for the purpose of breeding and storing stocks of fish to provide a constant
and sustainable supply of food and, like the moats, are generally indicative
of high status. The earthworks and buried deposits within and between the
ponds will retain information relating to the design and function of the
system, contributing to the understanding of the domestic economy of the

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, (1805), 263-265
Copy and description in SMR file, Cushion, B, (1995)
NAU, TF 9541/A/GKK6, (1992)
Ordnance Survey, 70-009 006, (1970)

Source: Historic England

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