Moated site 700m north west of Brick Kiln Farm Cottages


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020785

Date first listed: 03-Sep-2002


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 700m north west of Brick Kiln Farm Cottages
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: Breckland (District Authority)

Parish: Bradenham

National Grid Reference: TF 95046 10220


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 joined by leats have been recorded. Fishponds were maintained by a water management system which included inlet and outlet channels. The tradition of constructing and using fishponds in England began during the medieval period and peaked in the 12th century and were largely built by the wealthy sectors of society. The moated site and associated features 700m north west of Brick Kiln Farm Cottages survive well as a series of earthwork and buried deposits despite some superficial disturbance. The buried remains will include archaeological information concerning the construction and occupation of the site in the medieval period. Water-logged deposits in the moat and ponds will preserve organic remains (such as timber, leather and seeds) which will give an insight into the domestic and economic activity on the site and the local environment in the past. Evidence for earlier land use is also likely to be preserved in soils buried beneath the artificially raised ground.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site and associated features 700m north west of Brick Kiln Farm Cottages. Formerly in East Bradenham it is now part of Bradenham civil parish, lying close to the north eastern parish boundary. The moated site is one of ten recorded in this parish. In 1086 three separate land holdings were recorded in Bradenham; one of these, in the possession of Ralph Baynard, has been identified with East Bradenham. In the 12th century Baynard's land was held by Saer de Quincy, Earl of Winchester. The land subsequently descended from the de Quincys to the Lacey family, Earls of Lincoln. In the 14th century land holdings in East Bradenham included those of the Abbot of Bury and the Huntingfield family and lands in the possession of Lord Bardolph. These manors were later united under the Hungates. A central platform, or island, is enclosed by a water-filled moat with two rhomboidal enclosures adjoining the south west and the north east sides. The platform is roughly square in plan, measuring approximately 54m in width, and is raised about 0.75m above the general ground level. The moat measures up to 10m in width and 1.5m in depth, with modern low earthen causeways across the north east and south west arms now providing access between the platform and the adjoining enclosures. A partly water-filled channel, measuring 8m wide and 1.5m deep, extends from the southern and western corners of the moat to surround the south western enclosure. The enclosure measures approximately 64m north west-south east by 24m at the south east end, narrowing to 10m in width at the north west end where the interior is raised above the general ground level. The enclosure adjacent to the north east side of the moat measures approximately 60m north west-south east by 24m at the north west end narrowing to 12m in width at the opposite end. It is bounded on the south east side by a water-filled channel which extends from the east corner of the moat, and is partly enclosed to the north east and north west by a water-filled L-shaped pond. The north east arm of the L-shaped feature measures approximately 50m in length by 6m wide and is separated from the north west arm of the pond by a narrow earthen bank. The north west arm, which is slightly irregular in plan, measuring 30m in length by 12m, is thought to have served as a fishpond. A modern channel now links the north east arm of the L-shaped pond and the channel at the south east edge of the enclosure. A shallow hollow at the east corner of the north east enclosure is thought to indicate the position of an inlet channel. Two water-filled ponds, thought to be fishponds, lie adjacent to the outer edge of the north west arm of the moat. The southernmost pond is roughly square in plan, measuring about 10m in width, with a shallow hollow, thought to be an inlet channel, at the west corner. At the north eastern edge of the pond is a 1m wide earthen bank separating it from the second pond which is irregular in plan, measuring about 10m north east-south west. Short channels leading eastward from each pond into the adjacent arm of the moat represent part of the water management system. All fence posts, bird feeders and artificial animal burrows 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: 35066

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of Norfolk, (1807)
Brown, P (ed), Doomsday Book: Norfolk, (1984)
illustration card, NMR, 358791, (2001)

End of official listing