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Moated site of Crancourt Manor, 430m south east of Manor Farm

A Scheduled Monument in East Winch, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.71 / 52°42'36"N

Longitude: 0.5019 / 0°30'6"E

OS Eastings: 569115.922739

OS Northings: 315420.436146

OS Grid: TF691154

Mapcode National: GBR P5S.1QF

Mapcode Global: WHKQL.P46R

Entry Name: Moated site of Crancourt Manor, 430m south east of Manor Farm

Scheduled Date: 28 March 1951

Last Amended: 2 December 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018648

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30554

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: East Winch

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk


The monument includes the moated site of Crancourt or Grandcourt Manor, which
lies in isolation some 800m south of All Saints Church and the village of East
Winch. Until the early 19th century it was on the western edge of East Winch
Common, the western half of which was enclosed in 1815.

The moat, which is wet in parts, is open to a depth of about 1.5m and ranges
from 15m to 26m in width. It surrounds a sub-rectangular central island with
maximum internal dimensions of approximately 72m NNE-SSW by 58m, the overall
dimensions being approximately 113m by 88m. On the eastern side of the island
stand the roofless remains of a small, rectangular, single storey building,
gable ended and with angle buttresses, measuring about 7m north-south by 4.8m.
It is constructed of mortared carrstone (local brown sandstone), rendered on
the interior face with plaster, with medieval limestone corbels set at a low
level in the north east and south east internal angles. In the east wall a
later chimney of 18th or 19th century brick has been inserted, supported by an
external buttress. The north, east and south walls still stand at or near
their full height of up to 5.2m, and the western halves of the north and south
walls are recessed internally to a depth of 0.4m in the thickness of the
fabric. A photograph taken around 1970 shows the west wall also standing, with
a central arched door opening flanked by lancet windows. Part of this wall has
now fallen, but the lower jambs of the door opening with rebates for the door
remain, together with the chamfered south jamb and the springing of the arch
of the window to the south of it and part of the corresponding jamb of the
window to the north. Although the building contains some reused medieval
stonework, including the corbels and possibly the jambs of the door and
windows, in its present form it is thought to be of post-medieval date,
possibly a summerhouse converted later into a small cottage. According to
White's Directory of Norfolk, the remains of the medieval manor house,
described as `small and delapidated' and known as `The Nunnery', were still
standing in 1845 but these are said to have been demolished in the 1850s.
There is an extensive scatter of broken medieval brick and tile on the surface
of the fields surrounding the moat.

The Lord of the Manor in the reign of Henry II (1154-1189) was Sir Ralph
LeStrange, and the lordship subsequently passed by marriage into the de
Burnham family. Around 1261 the manor was granted to William de Grandcourt and
in 1298-9 was sold by Thomas de Grandcourt to William Howard, a prominent
judge and ancestor of the Howards, Dukes of Norfolk. Following the death of
John Howard, it passed in 1437 to Elizabeth, the daughter and heir of John
Howard and wife of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford. Their grandson John, 14th
Earl of Oxford, died without issue, and it was then assigned in two parts to
John Nevil, Lord Latimer, and Sir Anthony Wingfield, who had married two of
his sisters, although the Nevils subsequently acquired the whole of it. It was
brought to Thomas Cecil, Earl of Exeter, by his marriage to Dorothy, the
daughter and co-heir of John, Lord Latimer (died 1577), and in the early 17th
century was conveyed by the Cecils to William Barnes Esq. It was subsequently
owned by the Langley family and, according to the 18th century historian
Blomefield, Thomas Langley was living here in 1720 `much reduced and in a
state of poverty'.

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 of Crancourt Manor is a good example of this class of
monument. The moat survives well and the central island, which is unencumbered
by modern building, will contain buried remains of the medieval manor house
and associated buildings, together with other deposits, which will retain
archaeological information concerning the history of the manor and its
domestic organisation. The ruined building which still stands on the eastern
side includes medieval masonry which probably derives from the manor house and
provides some evidence for the character and quality of that structure. The
association with the Howard family and with other families prominent in
English history gives the monument additional interest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk, (1807), 148-154
TF 61 NE 7, (1972)

Source: Historic England

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