Moated site 160m north east of Avenue Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018649

Date first listed: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 160m north east of Avenue 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: Barton Bendish

National Grid Reference: TF 71560 05964


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 160m north east of Avenue Farm survives well and is unencumbered by later buildings. Buried deposits in the fill of the moat and on the central island, where there are likely to be remains of the medieval manor house, will contain archaeological information concerning the construction and subsequent occupation and use of the moated site. Organic materials, including evidence for the local environment during the medieval period, are also likely to be preserved in water logged deposits in the moat. The proximity of the moated site to earthwork remains of the medieval settlement, and its possible association with them, give the monument additional interest.


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


The monument includes a moated site identified as that of East Hall Manor, occupying an isolated position on the east side of the village of Barton Bendish, about 50m to the north of the old line of the medieval village street which continued north eastwards from the part still in use, now known as Church Road. The medieval settlement was more extensive than the modern village, and earthwork remains of part of it, which are visible some 300m to the north east of the moat, are the subject of a separate scheduling.

Three arms of the moat, ranging from 6m to approximately 13m in width and open to a depth of up to 1.6m, enclose the south western, north western and north eastern sides of a rectangular central island which has maximum internal dimensions of 85m north west-south east by 33m. A slight dip in the ground surface across the south eastern end of the island perhaps marks the line of a fourth arm which has become infilled but which will survive as a buried feature. A projection about 5m wide from the north eastern corner of the moat, continuing the line of the north western arm, is thought to be part of a former inlet channel. The southern end of the north eastern arm has been enlarged externally to create a pond up to 32m wide. Evidence for medieval occupation is provided by several fragments of medieval pottery recorded from the central island and by larger quantities of pottery dating from the 12th to the 15th century which have been found in clusters in the ploughsoil immediately to the west of the moat and in the area to the south of it.

East Hall was one of the lesser of at least seven medieval manors recorded in Barton Bendish, five of which dated from the time of the Norman Conquest. In the first half of the 16th century, according to the 18th century historian, Blomefield, it was held partly by the Lovel family, who also had the manor known by their name or by the name of Little Hall, and partly by the Fincham family. The manors were subsequently united into one following a series of sales in the later 16th century.

The remains of a fence around the north western end of the moat and a service pole on the central island are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 30555

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk, (1807), 274
Rogerson, A, Davison, A, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in Barton Bendish and Caldecote: Fieldwork in South West Norfolk, , Vol. 80, (1997)

End of official listing