Moated site at Pierce Williams


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011653

Date first listed: 22-Oct-1993


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Pierce Williams
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford (District Authority)

Parish: Hatfield Broad Oak

National Grid Reference: TL 54972 15429


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 Pierce Williams remains essentially undisturbed and, as such, will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation of the monument. The 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 north of Pierce Williams Farm, 1.2km south of St Mary the Virgin Church, Hatfield Broad Oak. It includes an irregular shaped moated site which measures 82m NE-SW by a maximum of 85m NW-SE. The arms are seasonally waterlogged and are an average of 7m wide and approximately 2.5m deep. At the south-western corner of the moat is an extension 15m long and 11m wide. There is a depression 11m east- west by 6m north-south approximately 1m deep near the northern arm which is considered to be related to the use of the platform. A small earthen mound 7m in diameter and 0.7m high to the east of this feature is believed to be the spoil from its construction.

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: 20703

Legacy System: RSM


SMR No: 4416, Information from SMR (No: 4416),

End of official listing