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Great Winsey moated site and fishpond, 1.4km south west of Finchingfield church

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Great Winsey moated site and fishpond, 1.4km south west of Finchingfield church

List entry Number: 1008977


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Essex

District: Braintree

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Finchingfield

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 18-Jul-1994

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 20754

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

The moated site at Great Winsey is well preserved and will retain archaeological information relating to its construction and occupation. The waterlogged ditches will retain environmental evidence relating 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 at Great Winsey includes a moated site situated on a hilltop north of the River Pant, 1.4km south west of Finchingfield church. The moated site is rectangular in shape and measures 50m north east-south west by 40m north west-south east. Although only three moat arms are now visible, a fourth, north western, arm has been infilled and is still preserved as a buried feature. The three visible arms are seasonally water-filled and measure an average of 9m in width and 2m in depth. The island is flat and was occupied, prior to its demolition in 1946, by a 17th century house with 18th century additions. Some building rubble from the house forms a scatter over the island. A fishpond 12m north east of the moated site measures 31m east-west by a maximum of 12m north-south. The pond is also seasonally water-filled and is about 1m deep. The strip of land 3m wide between the moat and the fishpond is also included in the scheduling as it is considered to contain the buried remains of the water channel which linked the two. The site is refered to as 'Wenelishey' in the 14th century.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935), 428
NAR No TL 63 SE 9, Information from NAR,

National Grid Reference: TL 67318 32319


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008977 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 21-Jan-2018 at 06:22:37.

End of official listing