Gubbion's Hall moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016802

Date first listed: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Gubbion's Hall moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2018 at 13:55:34.


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

County: Essex

District: Chelmsford (District Authority)

Parish: Great and Little Leighs

National Grid Reference: TL 73599 17761


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 Gubbion's Hall survives well. The island remains largely undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for further structures, as well as other features relating to the development and character of the site throughout the periods of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the ditches will contain both artefacts relating to the period of occupation and environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the monument was set.

The monument lies in an area where moated sites are comparatively numerous, with further examples situated 3km to the south, at Whitehouse Farm, Great and Little Leighs, and 2km to the east at Dines Hall in Great Notley. Comparisons between these sites and with further examples from other regions will provide valuable insights into developments in the nature of settlement and many other aspects of medieval society in England.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site surrounding Gubbions House, which is situated on Banter's Lane, to the east of the village of Great Leighs.

The moated site includes a rectangular island measuring a maximum of 32m north-south and 45m east-west. This is contained by a water-filled moat or ditch fed by an underground spring. The moat measures up to 18m wide and at least 2m deep, and is revetted on both the inner and outer faces with faced stone, occasionally repaired in concrete. Modern footbridges across the east and west arms of the moat provide access to the island.

The local antiquarian, P Morant, writing in 1768, stated that the `manor of Gobions' was named after Sir Thomas Gobyon, who was in possession of the manor from 1332 until 1349. The house which occupies the centre of the island dates from the 17th century and is Listed Grade II.

The house, the bridges across the east and west arms of the moat, the stone steps, the brick walls, the concrete walls around the vegetable garden, concrete pathways, wooden fences and gates, oil tank, greenhouse and shed 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.


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

Legacy System number: 33249

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Morant, P, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex 1763-1768, (1769), 96-97
Wright, T, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1831), 207
Royal Commission for Historical Monuments of Essex, (1921)

End of official listing