A moated site and fishpond in Howe Wood, 0.75km south-east of St Mary's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013414

Date first listed: 26-Feb-1993


Ordnance survey map of A moated site and fishpond in Howe Wood, 0.75km south-east of St Mary's Church
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013414 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2018 at 03:02:37.


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

County: Essex

District: Uttlesford (District Authority)

Parish: Littlebury

National Grid Reference: TL 49295 39549


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 in Howe Wood remains essentially undisturbed and will retain archaeological information relating to the occupation of the monument. The ditches and fishpond will retain environmental evidence relating 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 and fishpond situated on high ground overlooking the River Cam, 0.75km south-east of St Mary's Church in Strethall. The quadrangular moated site is orientated NE-SW and measures 95m by 75m. The arms, which are mostly dry, are between 8m and 14m wide and a maximum of 3.75m in depth. The eastern corner retains some water. A causeway, 3m wide, across the south-eastern arm gives access to the island, which is flat, but has traces of internal banks about 2m wide and 0.5m high to the south and north- west. At the northern corner of the moat is a rectangular fishpond which remains waterfilled and measures 45m NE-SW by 20m NW-SE. It is joined to the moat by a channel 11m wide. To the north of the moat are other earthworks on the same alignment, which are considered to be part of an associated enclosure, although the continuation of these earthworks within the woods has yet to be defined.

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: 20695

Legacy System: RSM


Information from SMR No: 3882,

End of official listing