Moated site 140m north east of Crimplesham Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016485

Date first listed: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 140m north east of Crimplesham Hall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: Crimplesham

National Grid Reference: TF 64836 03993


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 140m north east of Crimplesham Hall survives well, with no evidence of post-medieval occupation, and is a good example of this class of monument. The monument as a whole will contain archaeological information concerning its construction and subsequent occupation, and organic materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past, are likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the lower fill of the moat. The buried soils beneath the raised central platform are also likely to include evidence for earlier land use, predating the construction of the moat. The identification of the monument as the probable site of Talbots manor house gives it additional historical interest.


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


The monument includes a moated site situated at the western end of Crimplesham village and to the south of Downham Road, which at this point formerly ran to the south of the present line and within 30m of the north west corner of the moat. The moated site is at the south west corner of a field which is named on a map of 1839 as Talbots, and it is probable that it is the site of the medieval manor house of that name.

The moat is approximately 10m wide on average and remains open to a depth of up to 1.5m measured from the surrounding surface, although a small part of the outer edge at the northern end of the western arm is known to have been infilled. It is for the most part only seasonally wet, except for the southern arm which has been modified to form a pond and is water filled, and it surrounds a sub-rectangular central platform measuring approximately 32m east-west by 30m north-south and raised up to 0.5m in height above the prevailing ground level. The moat is crossed at the north west corner by a dished causeway which is probably not an original feature, and a second causeway at the south east corner is almost certainly of post-medieval date. On the southern side of the central platform and separated from the adjoining arm of the moat by an earthen bank about 0.5m in height, is an oval depression approximately 0.8m deep, 23m long east-west and up to 10m wide, which is thought to represent the remains of an internal pond.

Talbots was one of several medieval manors in Crimplesham and is recorded in 1371 when it was held by Stephen de Talbot. By the end of the 14th century it had passed to the Derham family and remained in their possession until the early 17th century when it was sold, together with Wesenham and Coldham manors, to the Soames family.

Rustic benches on the central platform, modern flint walling against the southern side of the internal depression, and fencing on the outer edge of the moat and yard surfaces adjoining the western arm of the moat are all excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: 30562

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk, (1807), 312f
Title: Crimplesham Tithe Map and Apportionment Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing