Tiptoft's moated site and fishponds


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008702

Date first listed: 02-Mar-1993


Ordnance survey map of Tiptoft's moated site and fishponds
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 09:00:35.


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

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford (District Authority)

Parish: Wimbish

National Grid Reference: TL 56996 37394


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Tiptoft's moated site remains largely undisturbed and will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation of the site. The waterfilled ditches and ponds will contain environmental evidence pertaining to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a quadrangular moat and three associated fishponds situated 2km east of Saffron Walden. The moated site measures 62m east-west by 67m north-south with a waterfilled moat. All the arms are 10m wide with the exception of the northern one which measures 7.5m. A brick built bridge gives access to the moat across the eastern arm and across the western arm are the remains of a wooden bridge with brick footings. On the island is a 13th century manor house which is listed Grade I. Also on the island are situated a well, which was used until the late 1940's, a waterpipe, which now supplies the house with water, and a small outhouse. There are three fishponds associated with the moat, all orientated north-south, all waterfilled and connected to each other and the moat by a channel. The channel measures 2m in width and is approximately 1.5m deep. The first of the ponds is situated at the south-eastern corner of the moat and measures 27m by 15m. 80m south of the moat is another pond which is 25m by 7.5m. Adjacent and to the south is the third pond which measures 37.5m by 12.5m. Tiptoft's had manorial status and is associated with the family of John Tippetoft from 1346. The house, outbuilding, footbridges, paths and waterpipe are all excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features 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: 20685

Legacy System: RSM


Information from SMR (No 161),

End of official listing