Record Details

NHER Number:6593
Type of record:Monument
Name:'The Castle' or 'Moatyards', south of Bessingham Wood


A moated enclosure exists at this location. It is known locally as 'The Castle' or 'Moatyards', and the bumpy interior was heavily overgrown until recent management. The internal earthwork features take the form of ridges and ditches running away towards the church. An associated mound has been recorded and the presence of clay pigeon fragments suggests it was used as a shooting mound at some point in the past. The moated enclosure, earthworks and mound have not been securely dated. It seems unlikely that the mound is prehistoric as suggested by some sources, but the enclosure could be the remnants of a medieval manorial site or deserted settlement. Finds wrongly attributed to this site are under NHER 6591.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 1639 3715
Map Sheet:TG13NE

Full description

Moat according to the Ordnance Survey. Known as the Castle, or Moatyards.
Deep wide ditch, waterfilled on north and damp elsewhere, but said normally to be dry.
Interior raised and bumpy, overgrown with trees. External embanking on south. In pasture field with 19th century bullockshed on east.
North side field is several feet higher than rest, forming steep north side to north arm moat and steep slope north of shed, though east of moat slope is terraced. Area of field east of moat contains many earthworks, notably ridges and ditches running away to east and southeast towards church.
West of moat many earthworks humps and bumps.
Same on south but here banks pass through hedgerow and continue across next pasture field to a stream. Mound here at 1637 3714 0.9m (3ft) high, about 9.2m (30ft) across, grassed, fresh looking, many clay pigeon fragments - recent shooting mound? (site refered to as barrow in (S1), but probably a mistake). General appearance like a deserted medieval village - manorial outworks?
See NHER 6591 for finds that have been attributed (wrongly?) to this site.
Details in file.
E. Rose (NAU).

April 2000. Visit.
Old acorn tress in need of attention, as these very ragged and prone to uprooting.
Site may be entered for Stewardship this year. Failing this an S.17 may be negotiated for one year until Summer 2001.
H. Paterson (A&E) 31 May 2000.

December 2003. Visit.
Site now under Countryside Stewardship Agreement. Most of the ragged thorn trees growing on the banks have been cut either to ground level or 0.6-0.9m (2-3ft) above. Good grass cover, grazed by sheep. Ditches mainly dry.
H. Paterson (A&E) 8 January 2004.

Monument Types

  • ROUND BARROW (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DESERTED SETTLEMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MANOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOUND (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG1637 D.
---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF449.
---Serial: East Anglian Magazine. Vol I. pp 308-317.
---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 - Bronze Age. Sustead.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Article in Serial: [anonymous]. 1873. [proceedings of meeting held Thursday, December 1st, 1870]. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London. Second Series Vol V pp 32-40. pp 32-33.
---Article in Serial: 1872. Appendix. Extracts from the Proceedings of the Committee. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VII pp 349-374. p 372.
---Designation: Department Of The Environment. 1882-1984?. Department of the Environment Scheduling Notification. Notification. DNF449.
---Designation: Norfolk Archaeological Unit. 1975-?. Norfolk Archaeological Unit Recommendation for Scheduling. Recommendation. DNF449.
<S1>Designation: Corbishley, M.J.. 1983. AM107.

Related records

6591Related to: Roman pottery, Bessingham Estate (Find Spot)

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