Thunderley Hall moated site and fishponds


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


Ordnance survey map of Thunderley Hall moated site and fishponds
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Jun-2019 at 18:13:04.


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

Uttlesford (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 55981 36070, TL 56029 36017

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.

Although the moat has been partly infilled the moated site and associated fishponds at Thunderley Hall will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation of the site and contributing to the understanding of the decline of the parish of Thunderley, resulting in its eventual unification with the parish of Wimbish. The waterlogged deposits in the fishpond and moat will contain environmental evidence pertaining to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.


The monument consists of two separate areas and comprises a moat and two fishponds situated l00m north-west of New House Farm and 150m north of the site of Thunderley Church. It includes an incomplete quadrangular moated site of which the eastern, southern and southern half of the western arms remain visible. Only the south-western corner of the moat remains waterlogged. The arms are l0m in width and the eastern and the southern ones are 70m in length. A 15th or 16th century house with 19th century additions is situated on the island and extends to cover the western arm of the moat. A small wooden footbridge crosses the southern arm. At the south-western corner is a drain which leads to a fishpond 40m to the west. This pond remains waterlogged and measures 35m north-south by 11m east-west. 25m to the north is another fishpond which is preserved as a marshy area 25m NE-SW by 11m NW-SE. Thunderley is mentioned in Domesday Book as a manor with five beehives, but the separate parish of Thunderley was united with Wimbish in 1425. The house, paths and footbridge are all excluded from the scheduling though 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:


Information from SMR (No. 1945),


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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