Whitley House moated site

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1008190
Date first listed:
12-Jan-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Whitley House moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County:
Essex
District:
Braintree (District Authority)
Parish:
Birdbrook
National Grid Reference:
TL 72210 41488

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 Whitley House is well preserved and will retain archaeological information relating to the construction and occupation of the site. The waterfilled ditches will retain environmental evidence relating to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.

Details

The monument at Whitley House includes a moated site situated on a north- facing slope overlooking the River Stour, 1.5km north-east of Birdbrook Church. The moated site is rectangular in shape and measures 87m north-south by a maximum of 85m east-west. The arms are water-filled and are between 6m and 13m in width. A causeway, 20m wide, gives access to the island across the south-western corner of the moat. The island is flat and has some building rubble scattered on the western side which is considered to represent the remains of the earlier house. The site is referred to as "Hwitele" in the 13th century. The modern house, manhole and related drainage system which are situated on the island, near the causeway, are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath that part of the house which sits over the causeway 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
20739
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

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

Legal

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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