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Hazel Hurn moated site, fishponds and associated features

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Hazel Hurn moated site, fishponds and associated features

List entry Number: 1020337


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: Breckland

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Cranworth

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 18-Sep-2001

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 35053

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

A fishpond is an artificially created pool of slow moving freshwater constructed for the purpose of cultivating, breeding and storing fish to provide a constant and sustainable food supply. Groups of up to twelve ponds variously arranged in a single line or in a cluster and joined by leats have been recorded. The ponds may be of the same size or of several different sizes with each pond being stocked with different species or ages of fish. Fishponds were maintained by a water management system which included inlet and outlet channels.

Dovecotes are specialised structures designed for the breeding and keeping of doves as a source of food. They were generally free standing structures, square or circular in plan and normally of brick or stone, with nesting boxes built into the internal wall. Some dovecotes were situated on a mound raising the interior floor level above that of the exterior ground level.

The medieval moated site, fishponds and dovecote in Hazel Hurn Wood survive well as a series of earthworks and buried deposits. The central platform of the moated site and the dovecote mound will retain valuable archaeological information concerning the buildings which stood upon them, and their occupation and use during the medieval period. Waterlogged deposits in the moat and fishpond will preserve organic remains (such as timber, leather, and seeds) which will give an insight into domestic and economic activity on the site and the local environment in the past. In addition, deposits sealed beneath the artificially raised ground of the moated island and dovecote mound will contain evidence of the land use prior to their construction. The association of the various features in Hazel Hurn Wood will contribute to an understanding of the way in which the components of the medieval landscape developed and interrelated.


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


The monument, which is in two separate areas of protection, includes the remains of a medieval moated site, fishponds and associated features in Hazel Hurn Wood, approximately 0.9km south west of Church Farm, Woodrising. The moat lies at the south western edge of the former Woodrising parish, now part of Cranworth. In 1086 land in Woodrising, previously in the possession of Alveva, was held by William of Warenne. A family, taking the name de Rising, held the land under Earl Warren and in the latter part of the 15th century it passed to the Southwells who, during the 16th century, established their seat at Woodrising Hall, approximately 1.3km to the east.

The moated platform, or island, is sub-rectangular in plan, measuring approximately 40m north west - south east by 30m, and is surrounded by a water-filled moat measuring up to 6m in width. The island stands approximately 0.3m above the surrounding ground level with a low internal bank alongside the north east arm of the moat. A slightly raised platform, measuring about 8m in width, at the northern corner of the island appears to mark the site of a building. A roughly circular hollow, measuring approximately 4m in width, located at the eastern corner of the island, is thought to be the remains of a pond. Low external banks, measuring up to 0.2m in height and 3m and 1.5m in width respectively, border the north western arm of the moat and part of the south western arm. Two depressions, one each on the inner and outer edges of the north eastern arm of the moat, indicate the position of a causeway which formerly provided access to the island and which is shown on early editions of the Ordnance Survey maps. A channel leading northward from the eastern corner of the moat and a further channel leading eastward from the south east arm of the moat represent part of the former water management system. The ends of the channels adjoining the moat are included in the scheduling.

An L-shaped depression, thought to be the remains of a line of fishponds associated with the moated site, is located 200m east of the moat in a second area of protection. The depression measures approximately 70m north west - south east with an arm, about 25m in length, extending southward from the north west end. It measures up to 6m in width and 1m deep and is water-filled in places. The long axis appears to be sub-divided, by low baulks, to form a series of ponds probably connected by sluices to control the flow of water between them. A roughly circular hollow, measuring about 4m in width, located in the south east angle formed by the L-shaped pond, is thought to mark the site of an infilled pond which will survive as a buried feature.

Two channels, forming part of the water management system, are associated with the fishponds. At the south east end of the fishpond is a channel, aligned north east - south west, at right angles to the pond. The channel, measuring 3m wide and 0.75m deep and visible for a distance of about 20m, is included in the scheduling. A further channel, measuring 4m in width and up to 1m deep, leads to the south east from the southern tip of the L-shaped pond. A 10m length of this channel, adjacent to the pond, is included in the scheduling.

An earthen mound is located in the north western angle formed by the long axis of the L-shaped fishpond and the channel aligned north east - south west at its eastern end. The mound is square in plan, measuring approximately 12m in width and standing up to 2m in height. There is a circular depression, about 5m in diameter, located centrally at the top of the mound. The mound is thought to have been constructed to support a dovecote. The association of the moated site with the fishpond and dovecote suggests that these features were part of a manorial complex.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Blomefield, F, Essay Towards a Topographical History of Norfolk Volume 10, (1809)
Brown, P (ed), Doomsday Book: Norfolk, (1984)
Brown, P (ed), Domesday book: Norfolk, (1984)
Blomefield, F, 'A topographical history of the county of Norfolk' in A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 10, (1809)
Title: Woodrising Tithe Apportionment and Map, DN/TA 71 Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Woodrising Tithe Apportionment and Map, DN/TA 71 Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

National Grid Reference: TF 97795 02905, TF 97990 02852


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This copy shows the entry on 25-Sep-2018 at 06:18:31.

End of official listing