Moated site known as Paslowes, 430m north east of Fouchers


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016924

Date first listed: 07-Mar-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site known as Paslowes, 430m north east of Fouchers
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Essex

District: Chelmsford (District Authority)

Parish: Good Easter

National Grid Reference: TL 62403 11504


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.

Despite disturbance to the site during the construction of two trenches cut into the island to hold World War II searchlight positions, and some disturbance from animals, the moated site known as Paslowes survives well. The island will retain buried evidence for structures such as the houses recorded on early maps, and other features relating to the period of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the ditch will contain 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: at least six others alone are known in the parish of Good Easter, and the three other sites linked to the collegiate church; Falconer's, Imbers and Bowers lie in particularly close proximity. Comparisons between the sites of these four interrelated prebendal manors will provide valuable insights into developments at this particular settlement and also provide wider insights into the nature of settlement and society in the medieval period as a whole.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site known as Paslowes located 620m SSW of the parish church in the village of Good Easter, less than 40m north of the River Can.

The moated site includes a rectangular island measuring some 32m north-south by a maximum of 38m east-west, raised approximately 1m above the surrounding ground surface. The island is contained by a moat or ditch, now dry, measuring approximately 2m in depth and up to 10m wide on the north, west and south sides and on the northern half of the east side. The southern half of the eastern ditch extends into a wide rectangular pond which is now dry, measuring approximately 26m north-south, 44m east-west and some 2m in depth.

A causeway, probably the original approach to the island, crosses the northern arm of the moat. A shallow bank, up to 4m wide, is visible along the northern and eastern arms of the moat and around the northern side of the pond, presumably the result of periodic clearance of the moat during the time of occupation. Two trenches cut into the island in the north east corner formerly held World War II searchlight positions.

In 1068 the parish of Good Easter was owned by the collegiate church of St Martin-le-Grand in London, and Paslowes represented one of four prebendal manors which had their endowments in the parish. At an unknown date the four manors were consolidated into two, and Paslowes came to form a single manor with Imbers, a moated site 750m to the NNW.

The Samuel Walker map, which dates to 1623, shows an elevation of a large house on the island with further associated buildings to the north of the moat. The local antiquarian, P Morant recorded that Paslowes was a `large building moated round' which, by the time he was writing in 1768, was no longer standing. This is confirmed by the Chapman and Andre map of 1777, which shows no evidence of a house on the island. The moated site is believed to be named after Robert Passelewe who resided in the area in the first half of the 13th century.

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: 33243

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Morant, P, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex 1763-1768, (1769), 458
Reaney, PH, Place names of Essex, (1935)
'Essex Archaeology and History' in Moated sites in the parish of Good Easter, , Vol. 11, (1979), 63-65
Essex Record Office: T/M 26, Surveyed by Samuel Walker, (1623)
Title: Map of the County of Essex Source Date: 1777 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Essex Record Office

End of official listing