Record Details

NHER Number:3511
Type of record:Monument
Name:Medieval moated site in Hillington Park


A medieval moat survives as an earthwork. The moat is 3m to 4m wide and encloses a rectangular shaped area, with an additional arm attached to the northeast corner. This arm may be fed by a spring and could have been a fishpond. There is a mound at the northwest corner of the platform. This once had a summerhouse on it and may have been made for this purpose.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 7230 2574
Map Sheet:TF72NW

Full description

Moat. Antiquity on (S1).
E. Rose (NAU).

April 1985. Visit.
Rectangular moat with long east arm projecting from northeast corner. Moat waterfilled, arms about 3m to 4m wide, fairly deep. Island well raised up, covered in trees of various dates - bridge on north on 25 inch map gone, but no scrub and interior well visible from without.
Mound at northwest corner, small and flat topped with oak tree on it, formerly had summerhouse on it and may have been made for this purpose when surrounding park laid out after new hall built in 1624 (compare Old Hunstanton Hall, Hales Hall etc). East arm is wider than moat arms, very deep and rectangular. Said to have spring at extreme east end which 'gushes up like a geyser' for some days when moat is dredged this arm might have been a fishpond, or simply a feeder enlarged later.
E. Rose (NAU) & J. J. Wymer (NAU), 17 April 1985.

Survey (S2) in file.
See (S3).
R. J. Rickett (NAU), 30 April 1990

Moat lies southwest of Hillington Hall. Waterfilled about 3m to 4m wide.
Mound at northwest corner showing collapsed masonry. Many mature trees on banks and platform, scrub leaning into moat. No apparent uprooted trees or animal disturbance although interior inaccessible through lack of bridge.
Site form (S4) in file.
H. Paterson (NAU), March 1991.

July 1994. Scheduled.
Scheduling description:
The monument includes a moated site, located on a slight north-facing slope c.600m south of Babingley River, 400m south west of Hillington Hall, and 200m north of Hillington village. The central platform of the moated site is sub-rectangular in plan, has maximum dimensions of c.75m north east-south west by 47m north west-south east, and is raised up to 1m above the prevailing ground level. It is surrounded by a water-filled moat ranging from 9m to 12m in width. A large, rectangular pond measuring c.60m in length by 25m in width projects north eastward from the north east corner of the moat, extending the line of its northern arm. The moat is fed by a spring at the eastern end of the pond, and at the north western corner there is a brick-lined sluice. The northern arm of the moat and the north side of the pond are retained by an external bank c.4m wide and standing c.1m above the ground level to the north. At the north west corner of the island is a flat-topped earthen mound, c.1m high and covering an area c.10m in diameter, which is thought to be a small prospect mound for the siting of an arbour or summer house.
Information from (S5) and (S6) in file.

Reference (S7) has a plan of proposed planting for the moat at the time the park was laid out, which includes the 'mount' inside.
E. Rose (NLA), 18 September 2000.

20 February 2004. Visit.
A watching brief was carried out to monitor works undertaken as part of Countryside Stewardship Agreement, Scheduled Monument Consent having been obtained. Young trees on the inner face of the moat to south have been coppiced to restrict damage to the banks from root action and windblow. Young willow growing in the moat were removed using a dragline, the machinery used in its operation being positioned well away from the moat. The roots of the saplings had formed a dense mat some 20cm deep, and were lifted out. No damage was caused to the banks and only the top silts of the moat were disturbed.
See (S8).
H. Paterson (A&E), 20 February 2004.

Monument Types

  • FISHPOND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • GARDEN HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MOUND (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF7225J-L.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Hillington.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Map: Ordnance Survey, First Edition, 6 Inch. 1879-1886. Ordnance Survey 1st Edition 6 inch map..
<S2>Unpublished Document: Ordnance Survey. Site survey.
<S3>Record Card: Ordnance Survey Records / Pastscape.
<S4>Unpublished Document: Paterson, H.. Site visit notes.
<S5>Designation: English Heritage. 1990-2013. English Heritage Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF114.
<S6>Designation: English Heritage. 1994? -2011?. English Heritage Digital Designation Record. Record. DNF114.
<S7>Monograph: Williamson, T.. 1998. Archaeology of the Landscape Park: Garden Design in Norfolk, England, c. 1680-1840.. BAR (British Series). Vol 268. Pl 37.
<S8>Unpublished Document: Paterson, H.. 2004. Norfolk Monuments Management Project Moated Site in Hillington Park SAM 21328.

Related records

30512Part of: Hillington Park (Monument)

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