Woodrising Hall moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020644

Date first listed: 03-Sep-2002


Ordnance survey map of Woodrising Hall moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1020644 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 06:27:24.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: Breckland (District Authority)

Parish: Cranworth

National Grid Reference: TF 99137 02576


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 Woodrising Hall survives well as a series of earthwork and buried deposits, despite some superficial disturbance including activities during World War II, when parts of the island may have been used to conceal munitions. The buried remains will include archaeological information concerning the construction of the moat, the layout and construction of the building which stood on the island and activities relating to its occupation. Evidence for earlier land use, predating the construction of the 16th century hall, is also likely to be preserved in soils buried beneath the artificially raised ground. Woodrising Hall was associated with a late medieval deer park, and Elizabeth I is said to have stopped at the hall, giving added interest to the monument.


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


The monument includes a late medieval moated site located at Woodrising Hall. The moat lies at the 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. During the 16th century the Southwell family established their seat at Woodrising Hall, said to have been constructed with material from Letton church. The land passed to the Weylands in the 18th century when a house, replacing the 16th century hall, was built adjacent to the moated site. The present Woodrising Hall, which was built in the 1960s on the site of the 18th century house, is not included in the scheduling.

The moated island is believed to be the site of the 16th century hall, evidence for which, in the form of foundations or buried foundation trenches, is likely to survive below the ground surface. The island is square in plan, measuring approximately 50m in width, and is slightly raised above the surrounding ground level. A water-filled moat, measuring approximately 6m in width, encloses the island. An 18th century brick arched bridge across the north arm of the moat provides access to the island and probably incorporates remains of an earlier bridge associated with the 16th century hall, it is included in the scheduling.

Water is provided via an inlet, marked by a metal chute, on the east arm of the moat, and an outlet, controlled by a sluice, is located close to the north west corner of the moat.

The chute and sluice, together with a concrete mooring on the north arm of the moat, 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: 35058

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, Essay Towards a Topographical History of Norfolk Volume 10, (1809)
Brown, P (ed), Doomsday Book: Norfolk, (1984)
Davison, A, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in Six Deserted Villages in Norfolk, , Vol. 44, (1988)
Norfolk SMR, NF8825, (2000)
Title: Woodrising Tithe Apportionment and Map, DN/TA 71 Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing