Widdington Hall moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1007836

Date first listed: 13-Jan-1994


Ordnance survey map of Widdington Hall moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Jan-2019 at 18:56:21.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford (District Authority)

Parish: Widdington

National Grid Reference: TL 54132 31778


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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 at Widdington Hall will retain archaeological information pertaining to the occupation and development of the site. The water-filled ditches will retain environmental evidence relating to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a moated site situated 100m east of Widdington church. The original moat was rectangular in shape, measuring 115m north-south by 75m east-west. There is no surface trace of the southern arm which has been infilled and is preserved as a buried feature. The other arms are between 10m and 15m in width. The eastern arm remains water-filled and the southern part of it has been widened to form a large pond. An external bank 5m wide and 1m high is visible on the northern arm. The island contains a house (Listed Grade II), which dates from the 15th century and has later additions. The early house consisted of a great hall with buttery and solar wings of which only parts remain. Earthworks visible on the island indicate the location of the other parts of the original house. The name Widdington appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Widdingtuna. The house, outbuildings, greenhouse, shed and driveway, which occupy the site at present, are all excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 20707

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)
Information from the National Archaeological Record (TL53SW11),

End of official listing