Friar's Grange moated site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Uttlesford (District Authority)
Aythorpe Roding
National Grid Reference:
TL 60375 14329

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.

Despite the infilling of the northern and part of the eastern arms, the moated site at Friar's Grange is well preserved and will retain archaeological information pertaining to the occupation of the site. The water-filled ponds will retain environmental evidence relating to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. It has a documented association with Tilty Abbey.


The monument includes a moated site situated on an east-facing slope overlooking the River Can, 2.25km south-east of Aythorpe Roding church. The moated site is rectangular in shape and measures 90m east-west by a maximum of 93m north-south. The southern and western arms of the moat remain as dry ditches 5m wide and range between 3.5m and 1.5m in depth. The north part of the western arm has been widened to form a pond which retains water. The northern arm and part of the eastern arm have been infilled and are preserved as buried features beneath the present farmyard. The remainder of the eastern arm, which has been widened to 12m, retains water and is used as a pond. Channels for land drainage join the moat at the south-east and south- west corners. The present house at Friar's Grange dates from the 15th century and is Listed Grade II*. The "Grange of Roenges Aytrop" is mentioned in 1251 and belonged to Tilty Abbey in 1521. The present house, greenhouse, shed, outbuildings, (including the 17th century granary which is Listed Grade II) and driveway 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. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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