Bundish Hall 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)
Epping Forest (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TL 55227 05735

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.

Overall the moated site at Bundish 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 relatively numerous, with further moated sites situated 200m to the north at Cross Lees and 2km to the north at Tanners Cottage, both in the parish of Moreton. 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.


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Bundish Hall located on the parish boundary separating Moreton from Ongar and 600m to the east of Cripsey Brook, a subsidiary of the River Roding.

The moated site is roughly rectangular in plan, measuring a maximum of 96m north west-south east by 76m north east-south west. A small projection of the island, approximately 25m square, continues eastwards from the southern end of the eastern side and is bounded by a continuation of the water-filled moat which surrounds the entire site. The broad moat measures on average 12m in width and at least 2m in depth, and is thought to be supplied by surface water from the surrounding area. Bundish Hall, a 15th century structure, rebuilt in the 17th century and later, occupies the northern quarter of the island, with two 17th century barns and a granary standing nearby. These are all Grade II Listed buildings and are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. Modern bridges cross the north east and south east arms of the moat to provide access to the island, presumably (in the absence of any causeway) replacing one or more earlier structures. Brick revetting is visible on the southern corner of the island; the size and shape of the bricks suggest they are Tudor in origin. A section of the southern moat arm, immediately to the east of the bridge, has been enlarged to form a pond, 18m in width, which is believed to have served as a watering place for horses; a further spur extending 6m beyond the outer edge of the western arm of the moat may have provided a watering place for cattle from the adjacent fields.

Bundish Manor, also known in the past as Brundish and Brendish Manor, is believed to have taken its name from the family of John de Burndish from Brundish in Suffolk. The Victoria County History states that from 1305 until his death in 1336 John de Burndish held an interest in half of Moreton Manor which was owned by John de Lenham. On the death of John de Burndish the half manor reverted to Eleanor Gifford, heir to John Lenham. In 1338 John and Eleanor Gifford conveyed 24 acres of land in Moreton to Nicholas de Burndish. At his death in 1349 Nicholas also held another 60 acres in Moreton and 20 acres in Shelley, and it is believed that this land formed the centre of the estate, later known as Bundish Manor. The 1777 Chapman and Andre map shows Bundish Hall surrounded by the moat, and T Wright writing in 1831 recorded the house and moat as `Brundish Hall' and stated that `anciently the two parishes of Shelley and Moreton divided at the entrance end of the Great Hall'. The moated site and layout of the buildings on the island has changed little from the 1874 1st edition 25' Ordnance Survey map.

The main house, the 17th century barns, granary, bridges, all farm buildings, walls and fences, and modern surfaces 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), 133-134
Wright, T, History of Essex, (1832), 355-356
Grade II Listed 5/24, List of Buildings: Epping Forest, (1984)
Title: 1st Edition 25" Ordnance Survey Map Source Date: 1874 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Essex Record Office
Title: Map of the County of Essex Source Date: 1777 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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