Moated site in Paddock Wood 560m north-east of Chesterford 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.
- Uttlesford (District Authority)
- Little Chesterford
- Uttlesford (District Authority)
- Saffron Walden
- National Grid Reference:
- TL 53703 42952
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.
As confirmed by partial excavation, the moated site in Paddock Wood is well preserved and will retain further archaeological information relating to the occupation and development of the site as well as environmental evidence pertaining to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.
The monument includes a moated site situated in the south-west corner of
Paddock Wood on a west-facing slope overlooking the River Cam, 560m north-east
of Chesterford Park. It is defined by an irregular shaped moat and measures
68m east-west by 64m north-south. The arms are partly waterlogged and are 8m
wide and 1.5m in depth. A central ditch 6m wide part bisects the island and
is thought to be a later feature on the site.
The Domesday Book indicates that the surrounding lands were within the manor
of Manhall , but it is thought that until c1600 the manor house was located
2.75km south-west of the moat. In 1257 Richard, Earl of Gloucester, was
granted a licence to build a castle on his land at Manhall. From 1970 to 1977
excavations were carried out by the Chesterford Park Archaeological Society in
order to investigate the theory that the castle was built on this site. A
crude stone wall was uncovered along with some metalwork finds including a
knife blade with a silver damascene initial and pottery dating from the 13th
or 14th centuries.
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:
- Legacy System:
Smith, D W, Report to Archaeology Section of Essex County Council, (1976)
SMR No 4757, Information from SMR (No. 4757),
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