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Moated site 210m south east of Brizes

A Scheduled Monument in Kelvedon Hatch, Essex

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Latitude: 51.6612 / 51°39'40"N

Longitude: 0.2704 / 0°16'13"E

OS Eastings: 557128.382485

OS Northings: 198259.553374

OS Grid: TQ571982

Mapcode National: GBR WQ.SZR

Mapcode Global: VHHMW.MHTX

Entry Name: Moated site 210m south east of Brizes

Scheduled Date: 27 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019027

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33262

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Kelvedon Hatch

Built-Up Area: Kelvedon Hatch

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Kelvedon Hatch St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford


The monument includes a medieval moated site located 210m south east of
Brizes, in the grounds of Brizes Park and 250m to the south west of the
village of Kelvedon Hatch.

The moated site includes a sub-rectangular island measuring approximately 42m
east-west by a maximum of 22m north-south. The island is contained by a
water-filled moat or ditch which measures an average of 10m wide and 1m deep.
There are no visible indications of the principal dwelling or ancillary
buildings which stood upon the island, however, the local antiquarian,
P Morant stated in 1768 that Brizes Park was named after Thomas Bryce who
built a house there in 1498. Although the exact site of this house is unknown
it is probable that it stood on the moat island and will survive as a buried
feature. The present house, which was built in 1720, is located 200m to the
north west of the moat and may well represent its successor. The moated site
is situated immediately to the SSW of the original entrance to Brizes Park.
The 1788 `Plan for altering and improving the grounds at Brizes' depicts the
south eastern corner of the moat connected to a water-filled extension,
similar in width, which continues to the south for approximately 20m. The
extension is not marked on the 1838 Tithe map of Kelvedon Hatch, indicating
that it was infilled prior to this date, however, it still survives on the
ground as a shallow depression. The extension is thought to have originated as
a fishpond in which stocks of fish could be raised, perhaps separated by a
hurdle or a sluice, before being transferred into the moat itself. Low banks,
thought to represent upcast from the fishpond, are visible along either side
of the pond.

The 1788 plan also depicts a causeway or bridge across the north eastern arm
of the moat, of which there is no visible evidence today. The Tithe map of
Kelvedon Hatch shows that the moated site has changed little between 1838 and
the present day.

The fences around the moated site are excluded from the scheduling, although
the ground beneath them 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 210m south east of Brizes survives well. The island will
retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to the
period of occupation. Buried silts in the base of the ditch will contain
both artefacts relating to the period of occupation and environmental evidence
for the appearance of the landscape in which the site was set.

Fishponds are artificially created pools of slow moving fresh water
constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish in order
to provide a constant and sustainable food supply. The tradition of
constructing and using fishponds began in the medieval period and reached a
peak of popularity in the 12th century. They were largely the province of the
wealthier sectors of society, and are considered important as a source of
information concerning the economy of various classes of medieval settlements
and institutions. The extension to the moat is thought to have been utilised
as a fishpond, and to have formed an integral part of the settlement. It was
infilled between 1788 and 1838 and may well retain sealed deposits from still
earlier periods.

The moated site lies in an area where such sites are relatively numerous, and
is situated in close proximity to two such sites, at Sheering Hall in
Navestock, 3.8km to the north west and the moated site in Fortification Wood,
also in the parish of Navestock, 4.4km to the north west. Comparison between
these sites will provide valuable insights into the nature of settlement and
society in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1956), 63
Morant, P, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex 1763-1768, (1769), 187
Title: Plan for Altering and Improving the Grounds at Brizes
Source Date: 1788

Title: Plan for Altering and Improving the Grounds at Brizes
Source Date: 1788

Title: Tithe Map of the Parish of Kelvedon Hatch
Source Date: 1838
ERO: D/CT 197
Title: Tithe Map of the Parish of Kelvedon Hatch
Source Date: 1838
Essex Record Office ref: D/CT 197

Source: Historic England

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