The Howses moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011613

Date first listed: 15-Sep-1993


Ordnance survey map of The Howses moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2018 at 09:38:31.


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

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford (District Authority)

Parish: Great Sampford

National Grid Reference: TL 63888 36548


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 Howses remains essentially undisturbed and will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation of the site. The waterfilled ditches will retain 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 moated site situated on high ground overlooking the River Pant, 1.25km north of Great Sampford Church. The sub-rectangular moated site measures 95m east-west by 80m north-south. The arms are between 6m and 10m wide. The moat is kept waterfilled by seepage and has an outfall on the north-western corner. Two causeways, on the eastern and southern arms, which are both 7m in width, gives access to the island. The house which is Listed Grade II, is mostly of 19th century date but incorporates part of an earlier building dated to the 17th century. The pond situated 30m south of the moat is thought to be a later ornamental addition and is therefore not included in the scheduling. The moated site is considered to be that associated with the family of John House in the early 15th century. The house, paths, greenhouse and swimming pool are all excluded from the scheduling though the ground beneath all the features except the swimming pool 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: 20697

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)
TL 63 NW, Information from National Archaeological Record (TL 63 NW),

End of official listing