Moated site of Crancourt Manor, 430m south east of Manor Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018648

Date first listed: 28-Mar-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Dec-1998


Ordnance survey map of Moated site of Crancourt Manor, 430m south east of Manor Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: East Winch

National Grid Reference: TF 69114 15423


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 of Crancourt Manor is a good example of this class of monument. The moat survives well and the central island, which is unencumbered by modern building, will contain buried remains of the medieval manor house and associated buildings, together with other deposits, which will retain archaeological information concerning the history of the manor and its domestic organisation. The ruined building which still stands on the eastern side includes medieval masonry which probably derives from the manor house and provides some evidence for the character and quality of that structure. The association with the Howard family and with other families prominent in English history gives the monument additional interest.


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


The monument includes the moated site of Crancourt or Grandcourt Manor, which lies in isolation some 800m south of All Saints Church and the village of East Winch. Until the early 19th century it was on the western edge of East Winch Common, the western half of which was enclosed in 1815.

The moat, which is wet in parts, is open to a depth of about 1.5m and ranges from 15m to 26m in width. It surrounds a sub-rectangular central island with maximum internal dimensions of approximately 72m NNE-SSW by 58m, the overall dimensions being approximately 113m by 88m. On the eastern side of the island stand the roofless remains of a small, rectangular, single storey building, gable ended and with angle buttresses, measuring about 7m north-south by 4.8m. It is constructed of mortared carrstone (local brown sandstone), rendered on the interior face with plaster, with medieval limestone corbels set at a low level in the north east and south east internal angles. In the east wall a later chimney of 18th or 19th century brick has been inserted, supported by an external buttress. The north, east and south walls still stand at or near their full height of up to 5.2m, and the western halves of the north and south walls are recessed internally to a depth of 0.4m in the thickness of the fabric. A photograph taken around 1970 shows the west wall also standing, with a central arched door opening flanked by lancet windows. Part of this wall has now fallen, but the lower jambs of the door opening with rebates for the door remain, together with the chamfered south jamb and the springing of the arch of the window to the south of it and part of the corresponding jamb of the window to the north. Although the building contains some reused medieval stonework, including the corbels and possibly the jambs of the door and windows, in its present form it is thought to be of post-medieval date, possibly a summerhouse converted later into a small cottage. According to White's Directory of Norfolk, the remains of the medieval manor house, described as `small and delapidated' and known as `The Nunnery', were still standing in 1845 but these are said to have been demolished in the 1850s. There is an extensive scatter of broken medieval brick and tile on the surface of the fields surrounding the moat.

The Lord of the Manor in the reign of Henry II (1154-1189) was Sir Ralph LeStrange, and the lordship subsequently passed by marriage into the de Burnham family. Around 1261 the manor was granted to William de Grandcourt and in 1298-9 was sold by Thomas de Grandcourt to William Howard, a prominent judge and ancestor of the Howards, Dukes of Norfolk. Following the death of John Howard, it passed in 1437 to Elizabeth, the daughter and heir of John Howard and wife of John de Vere, Earl of Oxford. Their grandson John, 14th Earl of Oxford, died without issue, and it was then assigned in two parts to John Nevil, Lord Latimer, and Sir Anthony Wingfield, who had married two of his sisters, although the Nevils subsequently acquired the whole of it. It was brought to Thomas Cecil, Earl of Exeter, by his marriage to Dorothy, the daughter and co-heir of John, Lord Latimer (died 1577), and in the early 17th century was conveyed by the Cecils to William Barnes Esq. It was subsequently owned by the Langley family and, according to the 18th century historian Blomefield, Thomas Langley was living here in 1720 `much reduced and in a state of poverty'.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 30554

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk, (1807), 148-154
TF 61 NE 7, (1972)

End of official listing