Moated site known as Tanner's Cottage, 250m south of Greens


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)
National Grid Reference:
TL 54871 07675

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 known as Tanner's Cottage survives well. The island is largely undisturbed and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to former 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 buried eastern corner of the moat, in particular, is likely to retain sealed deposits from the earliest phases of the moat's occupation.

The monument lies in an area where moated sites are relatively numerous, enabling chronological and social variations to be explored. Further moated sites are situated in the parish of Moreton at Cross Lees, 1.4km to the SSE and Bundish Hall, in the parish of Little Laver at Church Farm, 1.6km to the NNW and Envilles, 1.8km to the north and in the parish of Fyfield at Holme's Garden, 2km to the north east. Comparative studies between these sites and with further examples from other regions will provide valuable insights into the development of settlement and many other aspects of medieval society in England.


The monument includes a medieval moated site known as Tanner's Cottage, 250m south of an isolated house known as Greens, some 1.6km to the north east of the village of Moreton.

The moated site includes a kite shaped island which measures a maximum of 50m north east-south west by up to 52m north west-south east. The island is contained by a moat or ditch measuring a maximum of 1.5m in depth and approximately 6m wide. The eastern corner of the moat survives as a buried feature. Access to the moat is via a narrow causeway across the south east arm of the moat.

The 1839 Tithe map of Moreton depicts the moated site with at least two buildings on it with possible access (perhaps a bridge) across the north west arm of the moat. The 1896 Ordnance Survey 2nd edition 25 inch map shows only one building, marked as Tanner's Cottage. Access to the cottage was via the eastern corner of the moat. Both maps depict the moat with the eastern corner missing, suggesting that it was filled-in prior to 1839, possibly when a lane, now a bridleway which follows the north eastern and south eastern arms of the moat was enlarged. The date Tanner's Cottage was demolished is not known.

Brick and tile are visible spread across the surface of the island and a sherd of pottery, thought to be medieval in date and likely to have belonged to an earlier phase of occupation, has been identified from the island.

All fences around the site are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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), 129
pot sherd picked up during site visit, Fenton, P, (1999)
Title: Ordnance Survey 25" 2nd Edition Source Date: 1896 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Essex Record Office
Title: Tithe Map of Moreton Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Essex Record Office ref: D/CT 244


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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