Record Details

NHER Number:2207
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of medieval moated enclosure and great house


This is the site of a moated enclosure which around 1450 may have been the site of the Rochford mansion. In 1983 the north side of the moat, along with parts of the west and east sides, survived. Brick and fired clay were recovered from the inside of the enclosure, as well as some 14th century pottery sherds. Excavations have taken place in 2011 and 2012.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TF 497 139
Map Sheet:TF41SE

Full description

Moat (Ordnance Survey antiquity) shown on 6inch Ordnance Survey map as complete four-sided, rectangular but dry.
GMG Woodgate in (S1) suggests as site of Rochford mansion around 1450. They had the control of the chantry chapel nearby at NHER 14903.
E. Rose (NAU), 6 December 1983.

December 1983.
Most of west side survives, and all of north; on east, only that part north of gap shown on 6 inch Ordnance Survey. Over last few years owner has made some attempt to infill, and surviving part is repository for domestic rubbish. In general around 6m wide and less than 1m deep. Internally characterised by large quantities of brick/fired clay including some which has vitrified. Post medieval sherds also present indicate late usage. In east part moat, build up of soil effectively small mound 0.61m high; also supports great deal relatively modern material but also few scraps 14th century pottery (identified by A. Rogerson NAU).
R. Silvester (NAU), 6 December 1983.

Moat as described in 1983. South arm of moat seen as wide area of darker grass. A few small conifers planted along east side. These mostly dead. New owners said 'a few holes had been dug in interior by local resident some years ago, revealing possibly masonry footings'. Field now grazed by sheep and/or cut for hay.
H. Paterson (NLA), 22 October 1996.

August 2004. Resistivity survey.
Details to come.
J. Allen (NLA), 16 August 2004.

April and August 2011. Test Pitting.
April 2011. An initial appraisal on an area of land that featured a partially infilled enclosure. It was believed to to be the former site of a medieval manor house but no systematic excavation had took place there. The area was gridded out in 10m x10m squares and metal detected and the finds plotted. We then opened seven 1m x 1m test pits to further explore the site. One of the pits revealed a demolished wall laying on the sloped moat edge and confirmed the presence of a brick building on the site. A pottery sherd in situ on the rubble has been dated to between 1450-1650 and further excavation will follow after the hay has been cut on the site.

August 2011. The return to the site followed up on the demolished wall in the side of the moat (Test Pit 7) by extending it to a 10m x 2m trench to encompass the width of the moat, the demolished wall and possible interior or wall foundation. A second trench was placed to attempt to pick up on the geophysics survey commisioned by the landowners predicting possible buildings. This trench was 7m x 2m and was further extended by 5m during the dig. Finds included two complete hand made bricks dating (so far) to pre-Tudor times, floor tiles, medieval pottery sherds, a glass bottle from c1680 and a large quantity of demolition CBM. The moat was larger than anticipated approximately 8m wide and at least 2m deep.

See (S2) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S3).
D. Gurney (HES), 5 September 2012.

August 2012. Test Pitting. (S2).
Results awaited. One of the recent finds includes a brick on which has been incised a Nine Men's Morris board (S4)(S5).
D. Gurney (HES), 5 September 2012.

Monument Types

  • BUILDING (Unknown date)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • BRICK (Undated)
  • BRIQUETAGE (Undated)
  • GAMING BOARD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TF4914 B,C.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 41 SE 8.
---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. Walpole.
<S1>Newspaper Article: Woodgate, G.M.C. (Ely and Wisbech Advertiser). 193. [unknown]. 23 March.
<S2>Website: FenArch. 2012.
<S3>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. 2012. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk in 2011. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLVI Pt III pp 421-428. p 428.
<S4>*Verbal Communication: John Clarke. 2012. [unknown].
<S5>Website: FenArch. 2012.!/pages/FenArch-Fenland-Archaeological-Society/212510745509452.

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