Henham Hall moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Henham Hall moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Uttlesford (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 54275 28743

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 moat at Henham Hall is well-preserved and will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation of the site and adding to the information from surviving historical documentation. The waterfilled ditches will also contain evidence relating to the economy of its inhabitants and to the landscape in which the monument was built.


The moated site at Henham Hall is situated on a west-facing slope overlooking the River Cam 183m north-west of Henham Church. The monument includes a rectangular moated site, which measures 64m east-west by 81m north- south, and associated extensions to the moat. The arms are waterfilled and are between 6m and 10m wide. An extension from the south-west corner runs southwards for 130m whilst another extension from the north-eastern corner is 10m in length. A modern brick and concrete bridge, 4m wide, crosses the western arm of the moat giving access to the island. A causeway, 1.5m wide crosses the eastern arm and is considered to be the original entrance to the site. A modern house is situated on the island and foundations of an earlier brick house were uncovered during the construction of the present house in 1961. Henham Hall is first mentioned in the the account of the birth of Robert Fitzwalter in 1249. It is thought that Robert Radcliffe rebuilt the manor within Henham Park between 1509 and 1530. An account of the house is given in a survey of 1530. The manor house, at that time, was built within a deer park, round a square courtyard and was entered by a turreted three-storied gatehouse of brick. There was a "fair chapel" with a "quire". The house, bridge, driveway and shed are all excluded from the scheduling though the ground beneath these features is included.

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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Wright, , History of Essex, (1842), 146


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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