Hell Wood moated site and enclosure


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010746

Date first listed: 13-Jan-1992


Ordnance survey map of Hell Wood moated site and enclosure
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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 - 1010746 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 20-Jan-2019 at 23:59:36.


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

County: Hertfordshire

District: Broxbourne (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: TL 35601 04785


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 site at Hell Wood is an unusual example of a relatively small moat with a very large attached enclosure. The massive size of the enclosure bank probably indicates a defensive function for the site boundary. The well- preserved nature of the enclosure and moat together with the waterlogged and silted condition of the ditches offers considerable potential for the survival of archaeological and environmental remains.


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


The moated site at Hell Wood is situated north of Cheshunt about 500m east of the A10. The monument comprises a rectangular moat with additional earthworks to the north and north-east forming an adjacent enclosure. The moat itself measures c.70m north-south by c.75m east-west. All four arms are waterlogged and are c.17m wide and up to 4m deep. There is a causeway at the north-east corner which is c.5m wide. The western boundary of the outer enclosure is formed by a large bank approximately 3m high, 10m wide and 160m long. It is on the same alignment as the western arm of the moat and is cut by the brook. To the north, the boundary is formed by a ditch about 10m wide and 0.5m deep with a maximum length of 360m. The enclosure is bounded on the south side by the brook.

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: 20610

Legacy System: RSM


SMR No: 070250, Information from SMR,

End of official listing