Sturmer Hall moated site and mill complex


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012094

Date first listed: 13-Jan-1995

Date of most recent amendment: 28-Jan-2013

Location Description: Sturmer Hall, Church Walk, Sturmer, Essex.


Ordnance survey map of Sturmer Hall moated site and mill complex
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Location Description: Sturmer Hall, Church Walk, Sturmer, Essex.

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

County: Essex

District: Braintree (District Authority)

Parish: Sturmer

National Grid Reference: TL 68980 43775, TL 68988 43877


A pre-Conquest moated manorial site and mill complex.

Reasons for Designation

The Sturmer Hall moated site and mill complex is scheduled for the following principal reasons: * Documentary Evidence: the evidence for the early medieval manorial complex originates in the C10 and Sturmer is explicitly recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086; * Archaeological Potential: the buried deposits of the moat, building platform, dam and ponds will contain nationally significant information on the medieval environment and economy of the manorial complex; * Rarity: The buried remains of the moated enclosure around a building platform, within a largely extant manorial landscape evident in both scheduled areas, is a nationally significant survival. * Group Value: the scheduled monument has considerable group value with the broadly contemporary C11 Church of St Mary (Listed at Grade I) which is part of the manorial complex.


Sturmer is first noted in the epic poem ‘The Battle of Maldon’ of c.1000 AD as Sturmere, interpreted as meaning a lake formed by the river Stour. In the Domesday Book of 1086 the manor is recorded as having a mill and beehives. Sited approximately 1 km west of the River Stour, the site of the hall, in close proximity to the C11 and later Church of St Mary, is very likely to be that of the Domesday Manor.

The buried archaeological remains of the former buildings within the moated enclosure, the remains of the moat itself and putative mill to the south were scheduled as an ancient monument in 1995 from documentary and earthwork evidence, but there has been no archaeological evaluation of the buried deposits. The historic Ordnance Survey (OS) map of 1881 indicates that the south, east and western half of the moat’s ditches were backfilled by this date and the southern area of the central building platform was in use as a garden. The platform may have been levelled to assist the landscaping. To the south, the map shows the main mill pond defined to the east by a dam, to the east of which is a linear pond interpreted as the remains of a tail race. This arrangement is depicted in the 1959 OS map. The main pond remains to this day; an island has been constructed and a brick culvert uncovered at the west end. The tail race has been infilled, but a concrete lined culvert within a small copse of trees at the east edge of the pond allows water into the stream which flows eastwards.


The monument is formed by two separate scheduled areas of protection. The northern scheduled area contains the remains of the moated site which has maximum dimensions of 78m north-south and 65m east-west. The northern arm and north-west corner of the moat remain visible as an earthwork with waterfilled ditches measuring a maximum of 12m in width. The moat arms to the east, west and south have been infilled and are no longer visible on the ground but are preserved as buried features. The existing Hall is sited in the northern part of the central platform.

The southern scheduled area lies approximately 35m south of the moated site. It contains the remains of a mill complex comprising a mill pond which remains waterfilled, and a dam and tail race to the east which survive as buried archaeological features. A stream running east-west feeds the pond through a brick culvert at the western edge. The mill pond is sub-rectangular measuring approximately 70m east-west by a maximum of 50m north-south and is defined to the east by the dam. The tail race survived as a pond measuring approximately 30m by 5m until the 1990s, but is backfilled and survives as a buried archaeological feature. A C20 concrete lined culvert allows the eastward flow of water from the main pond. The position of the mill site, leats and channel sluice gate is not visible at ground level, but will be preserved as buried features within the scheduled area.


Excluded from the scheduling are all standing buildings and structures, including all modern road surfaces, footpaths and paved garden areas, although the land beneath them is included, and fencing.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 20761

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Pewsey, S, Brooks, A, East Saxon Heritage: An Essex Gazatteer, (1993), 78-9
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)
Architectural History Practice Ltd., Sturmer Hall, Essex. Review of Designated Status, November 2011,

End of official listing