Great Garnetts moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011651

Date first listed: 16-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Great Garnetts moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2018 at 14:25:51.


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

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford (District Authority)

Parish: High Easter

National Grid Reference: TL 63679 17492


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.

Great Garnetts moated site represents an unusual example of moat morphology. Despite infilling of parts of the monument it remains well preserved and will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation and development of the site. The water-filled and waterlogged 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 3km north-east of High Easter church. It includes two conjoined moats, one oval in shape and the other, to the east, rectangular. The oval-shaped moat measures 60m north- south by 87m east-west. The south-eastern side of the site was infilled in 1954 when the farmhouse was demolished. The northern portion remains water-filled and is a maximum of 15m in width. The moat had opposed causeways, 4m wide on the north side and 2m wide on the south side, which gave access to the island. Adjoining the eastern part of this moat are the remains of a second, rectangular, moat. The southern arm remains visible and measures 63m in length and a maximum of 15m in width. The southern part of the eastern arm also remains visible. Both are waterlogged as they are connected to the oval moat to the west. The northern arm of this moat has been infilled but it survives as a buried feature beneath a farm trackway. The trackway is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is included. The monument is thought to be associated with the family of Geoffrey Garnet in 1165.

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: 20701

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)
SMR No: 894, Information from SMR (No 894),

End of official listing