Reed Hall moated site, Reed


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013343

Date first listed: 11-Apr-1991


Ordnance survey map of Reed Hall moated site, Reed
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 11:29:50.


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

County: Hertfordshire

District: North Hertfordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Reed

National Grid Reference: TL 36019 35571


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 Reed Hall moated site is a well-preserved example of a Hertfordshire moat, exhibiting a wide diversity of features including the manor house, banked interior, outer bank and adjoining enclosure. It survives well and is situated in an area which shows an unusually high density of moats. It is one of seven moated sites known from the village of Reed.


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


The monument includes the remains of a medieval moated enclosure and an associated outer enclosure. The moated enclosure is defined by a water- filled moat along its south arm and southern parts of the east and west arms, with the remaining northern arm infilled in the past. The enclosure was originally rectangular in shape measuring some 40m east-west by approx. 75m north-south inclusive of the 12m wide moat. The interior of the moated enclosure contains the upstanding remains of Reed Hall, a grade II listed building (the upstanding remains are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included). The west wing dates back to the 1430's and is thought to be the original medieval manor house. The remaining internal area is flat apart from a sloped area to the north of the house, thought to mark the edge of the backfilled moat. Wall lines are visible beneath the turf on the southern part of the island indicating the survival of further buildings and features. The south arm of the moat is flanked by a 1.5m high outer bank. Immediately to the south of the bank is an associated outer enclosure. The outer enclosure is rectangular in shape measuring approx. 100m by 45m in maximum external dimensions. It is defined by a 3m wide 0.50m deep ditch on the north and east sides, by a scarp slope to the south and a 6m wide section of ditch to the west. The interior is flat. A further scarp slope to the south is thought to be part of the moated site.

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: 11569

Legacy System: RSM


N.K.B., Ordnance Survey Record, (1972)
Ref to RCHME survey of roof, (1990)

End of official listing