Latchley's Farm moated site and fishponds


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.

Braintree (District Authority)
Steeple Bumpstead
National Grid Reference:
TL 67154 39606

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 moat at Latchley's Farm is well preserved and will retain archaeological information relating to the construction and occupation of the monument. The waterfilled ditches will retain environmental evidence relating to the economy of the inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. Although the fishponds have been infilled they are preserved as buried features and will retain archaeological information relating to the water management system in use at this site.


The monument at Latchley's Farm includes a rectangular moated site and the sites of two fishponds situated on high ground 1.5km south-west of Steeple Bumpstead parish church. The moated site measures 82m east-west by a maximum of 80m north-south with arms approximately 17m in width and 2m in depth. The north-east corner of the moat has been enlarged to form a watering place for cattle. The moat is kept waterfilled by a spring. The banks of the moat have been revetted with metal posts and oak planks in order to prevent the banks from collapse. A 16th century brick-built bridge, which is a Grade II Listed building, 3m wide, gives access to the island across the southern arm of the moat. The bridge is included in the scheduling. The island is occupied by an L-shaped house which dates from about 1520 and is a Grade II* Listed building. Although no longer visible at ground level two fishponds are situated to the south-east of the moat and connected to the moat by leats. These have been filled-in in modern times and are preserved as buried features. The northern one measures 35m by 10m NE-SW. The southern pond measures 22m east-west by a maximum of 7.5m north-south. The manor of Latchley's is considered to have been that associated with the family of Henry de Latchelye in 1310. The house and garden wall are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them 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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