Moated site 390m south of the remains of St Mary's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020769

Date first listed: 12-Mar-2003


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 390m south of the remains of St Mary's Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. 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 - 1020769 .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 16-Jan-2019 at 09:57:51.


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: Flitcham with Appleton

National Grid Reference: TF 70468 26916


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 390m south west of the remains of St Mary's Church is one of several surviving monuments relating to what appears to have been a medieval dispersed settlement, defined by the lack of a single, nucleated focus such as a village, and characterised instead by several units such as farmsteads spread across the area of a parish or township. As a group these monuments, which include the remains of the parish church, a moated manor house and a farmstead, will contribute to the knowledge and understanding of medieval settlement patterns within this region of Norfolk.

The moated site is believed to have remained undisturbed by occupation since the 17th century at latest, and possibly since the medieval period, and the full extent of it is well documented in an early 17th century map and in the 19th century tithe map. The earthworks of the southern part of moat survive well, and the parts which have been infilled will survive as buried features. The monument as a whole will retain archaeological information relating to the construction of the moat and the lives of its subsequent inhabitants, as well as its function in relation to the settlement of which it formed a part.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a moated site on the north side of a stream known as Den Beck, formerly Denton Beck. It relates to the medieval settlement of Appleton, other remains of which survive to the north east and east of the moated site and are the subject of a separate scheduling.

The moat is recorded on a map drawn in 1617 from an original survey of 1595, on which it is named as Lynes Moat, and also on the tithe map of 1839. Part of it has since been infilled, but the full extent is known from the maps and the infilled sections are still marked in places by slight irregularities in the ground surface. It defines three enclosures or partial enclosures, bounded on the south side by the stream which originally supplied it with water. The channel of the stream may have been modified when the moat was constructed, but has undergone extensive recutting and cleaning in modern times and is not included in the scheduling.

The part of the moat which remains open is now dry and is approximately 2m deep and between 8m and 15m wide. It extends north westwards from the stream for a distance of about 42m, then WSW for 112m, bordered by the remains of an internal bank about 0.5m high. These features, with the stream to the south, define a sub-rectangular enclosure measuring about 103m east-west by up to 37m across internally, bounded on the west side by a bank about 0.4m high. From the western end of the open section the buried part of the moat continues north westwards for approximately 55m, then returns north eastwards for approximately 132m. The area contained within this northern part was subdivided by an extension of the moat projecting southward from the northern arm so as to enclose a rectangular island measuring about 42m east-west by 40m internally, with an open ended enclosure to the east. The surface of the island appears to have been artificially raised, forming a platform which probably supported a building, and the southward projection of the moat which divided it from the open ended enclosure to the east remains visible as a slight depression in the ground surface.

The moated site is thought to have contained a homestead with associated yards in the medieval period, and the name Lyne's Moat probably derives from that of an early occupant. A Mary Berney, who went to live with her aunt at Appleton Hall around 1623, is recorded as saying that her uncle, Sir Edward Paston, who was then lord of the manor, had a moated house in a wood about half a mile from the hall where visiting Roman Catholic priests were entertained, and this could refer to Lynes Moat. It is shown as unoccupied on the early 17th century map, but since the latter appears to show only the buildings which existed at the time of the original survey and does not include Appleton Hall, built by Sir Edward around 1598, it is possible that a house had been constructed on the moated site in the interim. The reference may, however, be to another moated site which is shown on the map about 325m further west along the stream and to the south of a wood.

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: 30613

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Trappes-Lomax, T P, 'Norfolk Archaeology' in Roman Catholicism in Norfolk, 1559 - 1780, , Vol. 32, (1961), 31
NRO ref. BRA 2524/6, Wright, Thomas , Descriptio Manerii de Apleton, (1595)
Title: Tithe Map of Appleton Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: NRO ref. DN/TA 165

End of official listing