Moated site 210m south east of Brizes


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019027

Date first listed: 27-Sep-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 210m south east of Brizes
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Essex

District: Brentwood (District Authority)

Parish: Kelvedon Hatch

National Grid Reference: TQ 57133 98259


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 210m south east of Brizes survives well. The island will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to the period of occupation. Buried silts in the base of the ditch will contain both artefacts relating to the period of occupation and environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the site was set.

Fishponds are artificially created pools of slow moving fresh water constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish in order to provide a constant and sustainable food supply. The tradition of constructing and using fishponds began in the medieval period and reached a peak of popularity in the 12th century. They were largely the province of the wealthier sectors of society, and are considered important as a source of information concerning the economy of various classes of medieval settlements and institutions. The extension to the moat is thought to have been utilised as a fishpond, and to have formed an integral part of the settlement. It was infilled between 1788 and 1838 and may well retain sealed deposits from still earlier periods.

The moated site lies in an area where such sites are relatively numerous, and is situated in close proximity to two such sites, at Sheering Hall in Navestock, 3.8km to the north west and the moated site in Fortification Wood, also in the parish of Navestock, 4.4km to the north west. Comparison between these sites will provide valuable insights into the nature of settlement and society in the medieval period.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site located 210m south east of Brizes, in the grounds of Brizes Park and 250m to the south west of the village of Kelvedon Hatch.

The moated site includes a sub-rectangular island measuring approximately 42m east-west by a maximum of 22m north-south. The island is contained by a water-filled moat or ditch which measures an average of 10m wide and 1m deep. There are no visible indications of the principal dwelling or ancillary buildings which stood upon the island, however, the local antiquarian, P Morant stated in 1768 that Brizes Park was named after Thomas Bryce who built a house there in 1498. Although the exact site of this house is unknown it is probable that it stood on the moat island and will survive as a buried feature. The present house, which was built in 1720, is located 200m to the north west of the moat and may well represent its successor. The moated site is situated immediately to the SSW of the original entrance to Brizes Park. The 1788 `Plan for altering and improving the grounds at Brizes' depicts the south eastern corner of the moat connected to a water-filled extension, similar in width, which continues to the south for approximately 20m. The extension is not marked on the 1838 Tithe map of Kelvedon Hatch, indicating that it was infilled prior to this date, however, it still survives on the ground as a shallow depression. The extension is thought to have originated as a fishpond in which stocks of fish could be raised, perhaps separated by a hurdle or a sluice, before being transferred into the moat itself. Low banks, thought to represent upcast from the fishpond, are visible along either side of the pond.

The 1788 plan also depicts a causeway or bridge across the north eastern arm of the moat, of which there is no visible evidence today. The Tithe map of Kelvedon Hatch shows that the moated site has changed little between 1838 and the present day.

The fences around the moated site 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.


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

Legacy System number: 33262

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Doubleday, AH, Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1956), 63
Morant, P, The History and Antiquities of the County of Essex 1763-1768, (1769), 187
Title: Plan for Altering and Improving the Grounds at Brizes Source Date: 1788 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Plan for Altering and Improving the Grounds at Brizes Source Date: 1788 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Tithe Map of the Parish of Kelvedon Hatch Source Date: 1838 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: ERO: D/CT 197
Title: Tithe Map of the Parish of Kelvedon Hatch Source Date: 1838 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Essex Record Office ref: D/CT 197

End of official listing