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


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008977

Date first listed: 18-Jul-1994


Ordnance survey map of Great Winsey moated site and fishpond, 1.4km south west of Finchingfield church
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 17:09:08.


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

County: Essex

District: Braintree (District Authority)

Parish: Finchingfield

National Grid Reference: TL 67318 32319


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.


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

Legacy System number: 20754

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing