Ancient Monuments

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Two moated sites at Huntingfield Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Bradenham, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.6521 / 52°39'7"N

Longitude: 0.8592 / 0°51'33"E

OS Eastings: 593502.1338

OS Northings: 309877.4045

OS Grid: TF935098

Mapcode National: GBR R9H.N1V

Mapcode Global: WHLS3.5LDP

Entry Name: Two moated sites at Huntingfield Hall

Scheduled Date: 3 September 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020646

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35061

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Bradenham

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Bradenham West St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument, which is in two separate areas of protection, includes two
medieval moated sites at Huntingfield Hall. A rectangular moat, formerly
occupied by Huntingfield Hall, lies approximately 40m east of another,
square, moat. The moated sites are two of ten recorded in the modern
civil parish of Bradenham (formerly the parishes of East and West Bradenham).

In 1086 three separate land holdings were recorded in Bradenham, one of
which was in the possession of Ralph Baynard. In the 12th century
Baynard's land was held by Saer de Quincy, Earl of Winchester. The land
subsequently descended from the de Quincys to the Lacy family, earls of
Lincoln, and in the mid-13th century, the de Huntingfields purchased the
manor from John de Lacy. In the 14th century the land was conveyed to the
Abbot of Bury, remaining in the hands of the abbey until the Dissolution.
This, and other manors in East Bradenham, were subsequently united in the
possession of the Hungates who are said to have held Huntingfield Hall
from the early 17th century. Huntingfield Hall, which stood on the
eastern moated platform and is depicted on the 1840 tithe map, was
demolished in about 1860. A smaller 19th century house now stands on
the site of the former hall.

The eastern of the two moated platforms, or islands, is roughly rhomboidal in
plan. The platform measures up to 110m north-south by 50m, with an
elongated south western corner. A sub-rectangular hollow was formerly
located at the south west corner of the platform, lying parallel with the
west arm of the moat. This hollow, shown on earlier maps, measured
approximately 14m by 6m and is believed to mark the location of a
fishpond which will survive as a buried feature. The platform is enclosed
by a partly water-filled moat measuring up to 8m in width and 2m deep
with steep sides and a flat base. The central portion of the west arm of
the moat, about 20m in length, is infilled but will survive as a buried
feature. The infilled portion may indicate the position of an earlier
access point. External banks lie alongside the east and south arms of the
moat, measuring up to 3m wide and 1.5m high and 1m wide and 0.5m high

The western moated platform is roughly square in plan and measures
approximately 50m in width. The platform is enclosed on the south, west and
north sides by a partly water-filled moat measuring up to 8m wide and up to 2m
deep. The east arm of the moat, visible as a shallow depression at the north
east corner, has been infilled but will survive as a buried feature. The east
and west arms of the moat formerly extended to the north, measuring
approximately 20m and 8m in length respectively. These extensions, shown on
old maps, will survive as buried features and are believed to be
associated with the water management system. An external bank, measuring
1.5m wide and standing 0.5m high, lies alongside the south arm of the

The house, all outbuildings, boundary walls, fence posts, modern surfaces,
hard standing and telegraph poles 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 two moated sites at Huntingfield Hall survive well as a series of
earthwork and buried deposits, despite some superficial disturbance. The
buried remains will include archaeological information concerning the
construction of the moats, the layout and construction of the buildings which
stood on the platforms and activities relating to their occupation.
Waterlogged deposits in the moats will preserve organic remains (such as
timber, leather and seeds) which will give an insight into domestic and
economic activity on the site and the local environment in the past. Evidence
for earlier land use, predating the construction of the moats, is also likely
to be preserved in soils buried beneath the artificially raised ground. The
association of the two moats gives added interest, providing evidence for the
development of the medieval landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, History of the County of Norfolk: Volume VI, (1984)
Brown, P (ed), Doomsday Book: Norfolk, (1984)
NMR, 358532, (2001)
Norfolk SMR, NF1036, (2001)
Title: East Bradenham Tithe Award, DN/TA 42
Source Date: 1838

Title: East Bradenham Tithe Award, DN/TA 42
Source Date: 1838

Source: Historic England

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