Wynters Armourie moated site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Epping Forest (District Authority)
Magdalen Laver
National Grid Reference:
TL 49880 08201

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.

Wynters Armourie moated site survives well. The greater part of the island is largely undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to the development and character of the island throughout its 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 such sites are relatively numerous, enabling chronological and social variations to be explored. Further moated sites are situated at Rolls Farm, Magdalen Laver, 400m to the south east, in Matching Park, Matching, 3km to the north east and at Carters Green, Matching, 2.6km to the north east. Comparative studies between these sites and with further examples from other regions will provide valuable insights into development of settlement and other aspects of medieval society in England.


The monument includes a medieval moated site surrounding Wynters Armourie which is located on the western side of the parish of Magdalen Laver and 1km to the east of the village of Hastingwood.

The moated site includes a rectangular island which measures approximately 74m north-south and 32m east-west. This is contained on the north, east and west sides by a water-filled moat or ditch measuring up to 14m wide and at least 2m deep. The house, which stands towards the southern end of the moated enclosure, was formerly known as `Winters', and it is believed that this name is derived from the family of Alice de Winter, first mentioned in 1248. The house is Listed Grade II* and dates from the 13th-14th century.

The southern ends of the east and west arms of the moat, as depicted on the 1896 2nd edition 25 inch Ordnance Survey map, are now overlain by the modern farmyard and associated outbuildings. This area is not included in the scheduling.

The house and outbuildings on the island, patio, wooden fences and gates and the brick steps are 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1956), 103
Stokes, A H, 'Moated Sites Research Group' in Moated Sites Research Group, (1973)
Title: Ordnance Survey 2nd Edition 25" Map Source Date: 1896 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Essex Record Office


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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