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Moated site in Falstoff's Wood, 450m north west of Whitehall Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Kimberley, Norfolk

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Latitude: 52.592 / 52°35'31"N

Longitude: 1.0764 / 1°4'35"E

OS Eastings: 608475.583469

OS Northings: 303797.042756

OS Grid: TG084037

Mapcode National: GBR TF6.GZ4

Mapcode Global: WHLSL.H3SR

Entry Name: Moated site in Falstoff's Wood, 450m north west of Whitehall Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 March 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020855

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30621

County: Norfolk

Civil Parish: Kimberley

Traditional County: Norfolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Norfolk

Church of England Parish: Kimberley St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes a medieval moated site located on the south eastern side
of Kimberley parish, adjacent to a stream which marks the parish boundary,
and 450m north west of Whitehall Farm. It is believed to be the site of a
manor house which was abandoned around 1400, when Sir John Wodehouse
built a much grander house about 900m to the north west. The moated site
of the later house is the subject of a separate scheduling.

At the beginning of the 13th century Kimberley manor was held of Hugh de
Gourney by Nicholas de Stutvile, whose descendants had it until at least the
end of that century. In 1313 it was granted to Sir Walter de Norwich and his
heirs, and in 1374 to Catherine Brewse, daughter of Thomas de Norwich, who
released it to John Bacon of Brome. Shortly after this it came to Sir Thomas
Hales, who gave it to Margaret, wife of Sir Thomas Fastolf, and from the
Fastolfs it came by marriage to Sir John Wodehouse.

The moat surrounds a rectangular central platform measuring approximately 40m
north east-south west by 25m and raised up to 0.5m above the level of the
ground to the east. The north western, south western and south eastern arms of
the moat are open to a depth of around 1m and range from 10m to 12m in width.
The north eastern arm is narrower, at around 8m in width, and sometimes
carries water draining from the north west. The moat was probably fed by water
from upstream to the south west by means of a channel which enters the south
western arm. An outlet channel extends from the eastern corner back towards
the stream.

The south western arm is bordered by an external bank which extends around the
western and southern corners and which stands to a height of up to 2m at the
western end. A causeway across the northern end of the north western arm of
the moat gives access to the central platform, but it is not certain that this
is an original feature. A low bank about 30m in length, which extends north
westwards from a point close to the north western arm of the moat, perhaps
marks part of the boundary of an associated enclosure, and approximately 12m
to the south east of this feature and at a similar distance from the moat,
there is a sub-rectangular depression with dimensions of about 15m north
west-south east by 8m, which is thought to be the remains of a pond, possibly
used for conserving fish.

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 in Falstoff's Wood, 450m north west of Whitehall Farm,
survives well and the moat, associated earthworks and buried deposits on
the central platform will retain archaeological information relating to
its construction and subsequent use, undisturbed by post-medieval
occupation of the site. Evidence for earlier land use is also likely to
be preserved in buried soils beneath the external bank and the raised
platform. The monument is one of several surviving moated and manorial
sites in and immediately around Kimberley parish, and its identification
as the site of a manor house having documented associations with the
remains of another moated hall, gives it additional interest. As a group,
these sites will contribute to an understanding of the social and economic
history of the medieval period in the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, (1805), 539

Source: Historic England

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