Moated site at the Manor House, Arminghall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018180

Date first listed: 20-Aug-1998


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at the Manor House, Arminghall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: South Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: Bixley

National Grid Reference: TG 24761 04794


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.

The moated site at the Manor House, Arminghall, is a good example of this class of monument, and the documented evidence for earlier buildings and associated features, probably of medieval or early post-medieval date, together with the surviving garden earthworks, give it additional interest. A large part of the area within and around the moat is unencumbered by modern structures, and although only the southern arm and the southern part of the western arm of the moat remain visible, the remainder will survive as a buried feature beneath the later ditches. The monument as a whole will therefore contain archaeological information relating to the original construction of the site and its subsequent occupation in the medieval and post-medieval periods, and organic materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past, are likely to be preserved in water-logged deposits in the moat.


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


The monument includes the visible and buried remains of a moated site situated on the west side of Arminghall Lane, some 650m north west of St Mary's Church and 750m north west of earthworks marking the site of part of the medieval village of Arminghall which are the subject of a separate scheduling.

The moat, which is thought originally to have enclosed a rectangular area with internal dimensions of approximately 100m north west-south east by 93m, has been partly infilled, but the southern arm and the southern half of the western arm remain open and seasonally wet and measure up to 12m in width. The line of the infilled northern half of the western arm and the probable line of the western half of the northern arm are marked by a later and shallower ditch up to 5m wide. An early 18th century map of Arminghall (then known as Amringale) Hall Farm records the buildings and layout of the interior of the moated site at that time, with the moat in the form that has survived. Along the eastern side fronting the road it shows a long range of buildings with a central entrance opening on to two yards - the Malthouse Yard and the Courtyard. A building extending south westwards from the eastern range enclosed the northern side of the Malthouse Yard which occupied the north eastern part of the estimated area of the original moated site, although the building itself probably stood to the north of the line of the moat. To the south of the Malthouse yard were the stables and stable yard, extending to the line of the western arm of the moat. The courtyard to the south of the Malthouse Yard contained a detached building in the north eastern part, to the west of the eastern range, and along the southern side of it was another, larger building which was probably the main dwelling house. Between this building and the southern arm of the moat was a garden known as the Little Garden, and to the west of this and the courtyard and south of the stable yard, extending to the western and southern arms of the moat, was the Great Garden. The area designated the Great Garden on the map contains surviving earthworks considered to be the remains of garden features and visible as a large, rectangular raised platform standing up to 0.8m above the level of the prevailing ground surface and occupying the southern half, with a smaller and lower platform to the north of it. The area to the north of the stable yard and beyond the estimated line of the northern arm of the moat is marked as Dove House Yard, in which a circular dovecote is depicted. The buildings and layout shown on the map are consistent with a late medieval or early post-medieval date.

With the possible exception of a ruined wall of flint masonry which stands in a position corresponding to the east wall of the stables as shown on the 18th century map, nothing of these buildings remains visible above ground, although the survival of buried foundations was confirmed during the laying of a water main in the 1950s. On the southern side of the area marked as the stable yard is a well head of 19th century date, although the well itself may be earlier. The present house, which is excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath it is included, is of late 19th century date and, except at the northern end, does not occupy the site of any building depicted on the 18th century map.

Large parts of the manor of Arminghall were conveyed to Norwich Priory in the 12th and 13th centuries and, after the Dissolution of the monasteries, passed to the Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral. The moated site is believed to have originated as the site of a medieval manor house and remained in use as a substantial farmstead.

A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are the house, the stable block which stands to the north of it, and all other associated outbuildings, the surfaces of all modern yards, driveways and paths, service poles and inspection chambers, garden fences and walls, included the 19th century retaining wall along the inner edge of part of the southern arm of the moat, garden and paddock gates and fencing and the remains of a footbridge across the southern arm of the moat; although the ground beneath all 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: 30545

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, (1805), 421
Title: C18 Map of Amringale Hall Farm Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Norfolk RO DCN 127/21

End of official listing