Moated site known as Marshalls, 290m south of Weald Place


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)
North Weald Bassett
National Grid Reference:
TL 47482 04373

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 Marshalls survives well. The island will retain buried evidence for structures 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 fairly numerous, and is situated in close proximity to three such sites, the moated site 350m south of Dorrington Farm on the boundary between Epping Upland and North Weald Bassett, 3.4km to the north west; the moated site at Colliers Hatch, 3.7m to the south east; and the moated site known as Wynter's Farm in Magdalen Laver, 4.5km to the NNE. Comparative studies between these sites and 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 Marshalls which is located on a gentle west-facing slope 80m to the south east of the village of Thornwood and towards the eastern side of the parish of North Weald Bassett.

The moated site includes a trapezoidal island measuring a maximum of 44m north-south by 44m east-west. The island is contained by a water-filled moat or ditch which measures approximately 8m wide. A causeway crosses the southern arm of the moat. A shallow bank, up to 7m wide and thought to be upcast from the ditch, is visible along the south and west arms of the moat.

The moated site is thought to represent the manor of Marshalls, which derived its name from the family of Ralph le Mareschal (or Marchal) who held land in the parish of North Weald in 1280. The manor descended through the Mareschal family until at least the early 15th century. The local antiquarian, Morant, stated in 1768 that the mansion house contained by the moat `is now demolished'. The present day Marshalls Farm, which dates from the 17th century and probably represents the successor to the moated site, is situated about 400m to the south of the moat and is not included in the scheduling.

All fences and gates 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
The Victoria History of the County of Essex - North Weald Bassett: Ongar Hundred, (1956), 288-289
North Weald Bassett, (1956), 284-289
Morant, P, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex 1763-1768, (1769), 150


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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