Moated site in Hillington Park


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.

King's Lynn and West Norfolk (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TF 72303 25744

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 in Hillington Park survives well, with a variety of earthwork features, and is unencumbered by modern building. It will retain archaeological information concerning the construction and use of the site, and evidence of earlier land use will be preserved in soils buried beneath the raised central platform and the retaining bank on the north side.


The monument includes a moated site, located on a slight north-facing slope c.600m south of Babingley River, 400m south west of Hillington Hall, and 200m north of Hillington village. The central platform of the moated site is sub-rectangular in plan, has maximum dimensions of c.75m north east-south west by 47m north west-south east, and is raised up to 1m above the prevailing ground level. It is surrounded by a water-filled moat ranging from 9m to 12m in width. A large, rectangular pond measuring c.60m in length by 25m in width projects north eastward from the north east corner of the moat, extending the line of its northern arm. The moat is fed by a spring at the eastern end of the pond, and at the north western corner there is a brick-lined sluice. The northern arm of the moat and the north side of the pond are retained by an external bank c.4m wide and standing c.1m above the ground level to the north. At the north west corner of the island is a flat-topped earthen mound, c.1m high and covering an area c.10m in diameter, which is thought to be a small prospect mound for the siting of an arbour or summer house.

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
Cozens-Hardy, B, 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Some Norfolk Halls, , Vol. 32, (1961), 184
3511 West Norfolk, Hillington,
NAU TF7225/J/AVG9, (1984)


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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