Moat Farm, situated 750m south west of St Lawrence's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012096

Date first listed: 13-Jan-1995


Ordnance survey map of Moat Farm, situated 750m south west of St Lawrence's Church
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2018 at 13:58:24.


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

County: Essex

District: Braintree (District Authority)

Parish: Ridgewell

National Grid Reference: TL 73473 40591


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 Moat Farm survives in a good condition, both as buried features and also as waterfilled earthworks. The buried deposits on the island will contain features which will provide information on the construction and function of the site. The buried moat arm will also contain archaeological deposits related to the occupation of the site. The waterfilled ditches will retain environmental information relating to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived. The site is in close proximity to the moated site 150m to the north at West End House (the subject of a separate scheduling). Close associations such as this allow a study of relationships between different types of moated site and illustrate the ways in which they functioned in the wider context of the village and the parish.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument at Moat Farm includes a moated site situated on the floodplain of the River Colne, 750m south west of St Lawrence's Church. The moated site is irregular in shape and measures 60m north west - south east by a maximum of 60m north east - south west. Although only three moat arms are now visible, the north eastern arm has been infilled and is preserved as a buried feature. The north western arm has also been infilled but remains visible as a shallow depression, 5m wide and approximately 0.3m deep. The remaining two arms are waterfilled from land drainage. They measure 7m in width and 2m in depth. A slight internal bank, approximately 0.4m high and 1m wide is visible along the south eastern arm. A causeway, 1m wide, gives access to the island across the south eastern arm. A modern bridge (built of concrete and metal) crosses the south western arm of the moat and is not included in the scheduling. The south western part of the island has been raised by about 0.4m from the level of the rest of the island which is at the same height as the surrounding ground level. A 17th century house, which is Listed Grade II, occupies the northern corner of the island. To the west of the house are situated a modern garage, shed, barn. A small ornamental pond occupies the area between the house and the outbuildings. The house, garage, shed, barn, paths, fences and ornamental pond are all excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features except the pond 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: 20765

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing