Record Details

NHER Number:1056
Type of record:Monument
Name:Besthorpe medieval moat


This is a raised enclosure surrounded by a moat with two outer moats on the south side and two ditched enclosure to the east that are probably related. Medieval and post medieval pottery were recovered in areas that had been damaged by motorbike riding and clay pigeon hide construction.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 068 964
Map Sheet:TM09NE

Full description

Moat, with three concentric ditches on south side, with outworks including ponds, ditches and possibly fishponds. Under grass.
A. Rogerson (NLA).

May 1973. Surveyed during Man Power Back to Work funded rapid moat survey.
See (S1) in file.
J. Allen (NLA), 15 August 2001.

Owner claims local people have dug in it. Possibly two more ditched enclosures to east according to schedule.

Medieval and post medieval sherds found in areas disturbed by motorcycles and clay pigeon hides dug, penes [1]; see list in file. Disturbance of ground still continuing in 1983 according to parish council. Department of the Environment informed.
Finds lists in file.
E. Rose (NAU) 16 August 1983.

North moat covered in heavy scrub. New `sleeper' bridge inserted some 15cm (6 inches) into bank for access. Scrub removed at this point. South moat shows some silt removal, this spoil heaped along bank. Owner says this minimal removal carried out two years ago to assist water improvement for fishing.
H. Paterson (A&E) 2 July 1999.

See (S2).

May 2012. Norfolk NMP.
The moat described above is visible as earthworks on aerial photographs (S3-S8). It is centred on TM 0678 9644, and measures externally approximately 78m x 49m. A raised bank or internal platform within the moat is visible on at least two sets of photographs (S5 and S8), measuring approximately 60m x 34m.
There are at least four ponds associated with the moat, two of which are clearly visible as earthworks (S3-S5), at TM 0672 9642 and TM 0683 9640, and two of which have been mapped as ‘extent of area’ since they are depicted on Ordnance Survey maps, at TM 0686 9645 and TM 0688 9641.
There are possibly two outer moats on the southern side.
The earthworks continue in the field to the south, and a faint possible enclosure is visible as soilmarks, centred at TM 0655 9649, measuring approximately 29m x 17m internally. Ploughed out banks in this field may be the remnants of modern agricultural activity.
Earthworks in the field to the east of the moat appear to represent field divisions, or possible enclosures, centred on TM 0690 9654.
The relationship of this site with the possible Roman Road (NHER 33952) and a second medieval moated site to the west (NHER 57509) is of interest.
E. Bales (NMP), 08 May 2012.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING PLATFORM? (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE? (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY? (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POND (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SITE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRIQUETAGE (Undated)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF402.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TM 09 NE 2 [3].
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Archive: Norfolk Monuments Management Project File.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Besthorpe.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Illustration: Rogerson, A. and Mauser, J.. 1973. Rapid Moat Survey Sketch Plan.
<S2>Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1961. SMR TM0696/U (CUCAP ADE12) 1961.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/101 6105-6 30-MAR-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 1128-9 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 1129-30 09-JUL-1946 (NHER TM 0697A-0697C).
<S6>Aerial Photograph: 1977. NHER TM 0696B-C, A & D (NLA 54/AKS8-9, 12-13) 01-AUG-1977.
<S7>Aerial Photograph: 1978. NHER TM 0696E-J (021-78-066-8, 137-8) XX-XXX-1978.
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1995. OS/95513 090-1 09-APR-1995 (NMR).

Related records - none

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