Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 160m north east of Avenue Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Barton Bendish, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.6243 / 52°37'27"N

Longitude: 0.5332 / 0°31'59"E

OS Eastings: 571561.176525

OS Northings: 305964.049339

OS Grid: TF715059

Mapcode National: GBR P6S.HM1

Mapcode Global: WHKR0.595G

Entry Name: Moated site 160m north east of Avenue Farm

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018649

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30555

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Barton Bendish

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Barton Bendish St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes a moated site identified as that of East Hall Manor,
occupying an isolated position on the east side of the village of Barton
Bendish, about 50m to the north of the old line of the medieval village street
which continued north eastwards from the part still in use, now known as
Church Road. The medieval settlement was more extensive than the modern
village, and earthwork remains of part of it, which are visible some 300m to
the north east of the moat, are the subject of a separate scheduling.

Three arms of the moat, ranging from 6m to approximately 13m in width and open
to a depth of up to 1.6m, enclose the south western, north western and north
eastern sides of a rectangular central island which has maximum internal
dimensions of 85m north west-south east by 33m. A slight dip in the ground
surface across the south eastern end of the island perhaps marks the line of a
fourth arm which has become infilled but which will survive as a buried
feature. A projection about 5m wide from the north eastern corner of the moat,
continuing the line of the north western arm, is thought to be part of a
former inlet channel. The southern end of the north eastern arm has been
enlarged externally to create a pond up to 32m wide. Evidence for medieval
occupation is provided by several fragments of medieval pottery recorded from
the central island and by larger quantities of pottery dating from the 12th to
the 15th century which have been found in clusters in the ploughsoil
immediately to the west of the moat and in the area to the south of it.

East Hall was one of the lesser of at least seven medieval manors recorded in
Barton Bendish, five of which dated from the time of the Norman Conquest. In
the first half of the 16th century, according to the 18th century historian,
Blomefield, it was held partly by the Lovel family, who also had the manor
known by their name or by the name of Little Hall, and partly by the Fincham
family. The manors were subsequently united into one following a series of
sales in the later 16th century.

The remains of a fence around the north western end of the moat and a service
pole on the central island are excluded from the scheduling, although 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 160m north east of Avenue Farm survives well and is
unencumbered by later buildings. Buried deposits in the fill of the moat and
on the central island, where there are likely to be remains of the medieval
manor house, will contain archaeological information concerning the
construction and subsequent occupation and use of the moated site. Organic
materials, including evidence for the local environment during the medieval
period, are also likely to be preserved in water logged deposits in the moat.
The proximity of the moated site to earthwork remains of the medieval
settlement, and its possible association with them, give the monument
additional interest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk, (1807), 274
Rogerson, A, Davison, A, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in Barton Bendish and Caldecote: Fieldwork in South West Norfolk, , Vol. 80, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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