Moated site in Falstoff's Wood, 450m north west of Whitehall Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020855

Date first listed: 12-Mar-2003


Ordnance survey map of Moated site in Falstoff's Wood, 450m north west of Whitehall Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: South Norfolk (District Authority)

Parish: Kimberley

National Grid Reference: TG 08480 03784


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 in Falstoff's Wood, 450m north west of Whitehall Farm, survives well and the moat, associated earthworks and buried deposits on the central platform will retain archaeological information relating to its construction and subsequent use, undisturbed by post-medieval occupation of the site. Evidence for earlier land use is also likely to be preserved in buried soils beneath the external bank and the raised platform. The monument is one of several surviving moated and manorial sites in and immediately around Kimberley parish, and its identification as the site of a manor house having documented associations with the remains of another moated hall, gives it additional interest. As a group, these sites will contribute to an understanding of the social and economic history of the medieval period in the area.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site located on the south eastern side of Kimberley parish, adjacent to a stream which marks the parish boundary, and 450m north west of Whitehall Farm. It is believed to be the site of a manor house which was abandoned around 1400, when Sir John Wodehouse built a much grander house about 900m to the north west. The moated site of the later house is the subject of a separate scheduling.

At the beginning of the 13th century Kimberley manor was held of Hugh de Gourney by Nicholas de Stutvile, whose descendants had it until at least the end of that century. In 1313 it was granted to Sir Walter de Norwich and his heirs, and in 1374 to Catherine Brewse, daughter of Thomas de Norwich, who released it to John Bacon of Brome. Shortly after this it came to Sir Thomas Hales, who gave it to Margaret, wife of Sir Thomas Fastolf, and from the Fastolfs it came by marriage to Sir John Wodehouse.

The moat surrounds a rectangular central platform measuring approximately 40m north east-south west by 25m and raised up to 0.5m above the level of the ground to the east. The north western, south western and south eastern arms of the moat are open to a depth of around 1m and range from 10m to 12m in width. The north eastern arm is narrower, at around 8m in width, and sometimes carries water draining from the north west. The moat was probably fed by water from upstream to the south west by means of a channel which enters the south western arm. An outlet channel extends from the eastern corner back towards the stream.

The south western arm is bordered by an external bank which extends around the western and southern corners and which stands to a height of up to 2m at the western end. A causeway across the northern end of the north western arm of the moat gives access to the central platform, but it is not certain that this is an original feature. A low bank about 30m in length, which extends north westwards from a point close to the north western arm of the moat, perhaps marks part of the boundary of an associated enclosure, and approximately 12m to the south east of this feature and at a similar distance from the moat, there is a sub-rectangular depression with dimensions of about 15m north west-south east by 8m, which is thought to be the remains of a pond, possibly used for conserving fish.

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: 30621

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Blomefield, F, An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk, (1805), 539

End of official listing