Record Details

NHER Number:6747
Type of record:Monument
Name:Earthworks of possible medieval moat and potentially related cropmark features


The possible site of a medieval to post medieval moat survives partially as an earthwork. It has been visited on the ground and the earthworks have been surveyed. The exact nature of the site is uncertain; a moat, a watermill and a drainage or boundary ditch representing shrinkage of the village of Roughton in the medieval or post medieval period (NMR TG 23 NW 11) have all been suggested as interpretations. See NHER 60087 for details of finds recovered within the bounds of the main earthworks.
The cropmarks of a probably contemporary ancillary domestic enclosure containing a possible post-built structure have also been mapped from aerial photographs to the south of the moat. Beyond these, further enclosures and possible field boundaries, likely to be of medieval to post medieval date as well, are also visible as cropmarks on aerial photographs. One of these enclosures could alternatively be interpreted as an Iron Age square barrow.

Images - none


Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TG23NW

Full description

Feature suggested as moat by J.E. Sainty, but Ordnance Survery say a drainage ditch.

Visited by E. Rose (NAU), 9 October 1978.
Unusual feature - does not appear to be a moat, but very large for a ditch. Is it a mill stream or something similar? On north and east ditches small and probably recent, but on south and southwest deep and V-shaped. Centre is overgrown wasteland. Being infilled at time of visit.
E. Rose (NAU).

1982. NARG Survey.
See report (S1) by Mr and Mrs Dollin, which suggests that this feature may well be a moat. Also refers to a record temp Edward II of a watermill with causeway half in Roughton and half in Thorpe Market.
?Could this be part of it?

See NHER 60087 for details of finds recovered from molehills during this NARG survey.
E. Rose (NAU), 29 March 1983. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 21 June 2014.

19 July 1996. NLA air photography.
2 ditches of a large rectangular enclosure can be seen to the immediate south of the earthwork noted above.
There is a possible rectangular post-built structure within the enclosure.
Additional features to the south are likely to be field boundaries.
M. Brennand (NLA), 22 August 2001.

NMR record [1] suggests that the ditch is a drainage or boundary ditch which represents village shrinkage.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 31 March 2004

March 2004, Norfolk NMP
NMP mapping has led to the alteration of the central grid reference of the site. [2]

The possible moat described above is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs (S3-4), centred at [4]. The morphology of the mapped features would suggest that this is a medieval to post-medieval moated site. A ditch is clearly visible along three sides of the site on the vertical aerial photographs from 1946 (S3). Its east side corresponds with a field boundary, but cropmarks and earthworks of a ditch visible on each side of the hedge line are likely to also form part of the moat A slightly complex arrangement of banks and ditches is apparent within the moat, along its west side and beyond its north-west corner, but the site's function remains enigmatic. Its location less than 200m to the north-east of St Mary's Church (NHER 6771) and a farm named Manor House Farm (NHER 29850) may indicate that it was a fairly prestigious, perhaps manorial, domestic moated site. It measures 95m long and 75m wide and the ditch or moat is up to 13m wide. The causeway on its south side appears to be genuine.

The large double-ditched rectangular enclosure described above is visible as a cropmark on oblique aerial photographs (S5), centred at [5]. Its shared orientation with the moat suggests that it is a contemporary feature, while its division into compartments defined by narrow ditches and, in one case, a pit or post-hole may indicate that it had a domestic function ancillary to the moat itself. Given the low-lying position of the site, however, on meadow to the south of Hagon Beck, the possibility that a number of the ditches described here and below had a drainage function should be borne in mind. The post-built structure mentioned above is visible within it and appears to be contemporary with the surrounding features. The enclosure measures approximately 170m by 70m. The timber building is 12m long and 5.5m wide.

A second, roughly rectangular ditched enclosure is visible as a cropmark on aerial photographs to the south of the first (S5), centred at [6]. This too shares an orientation with the features described above and again is likely to be contemporary with the moat. Like the enclosure to the north, it is subdivided into compartments but it is generally less well defined and may have had an agricultural function. It measures approximately 108m long and 83m wide.

Further features are visible as cropmarks on vertical aerial photographs (S6-7). The southern side of the second enclosure is formed by an east-to-west ditch which extends beyond the sides of the enclosure and is likely to be a field boundary or other type of boundary ditch. Ditches (possibly field boundaries) and possible enclosures to the north, south and south-west of this boundary only partially fit the pattern of features described above. While most may be contemporary with the moat and enclosures already described, others may be of a later or even earlier date. A small square enclosure, up to 18m wide and centred at [7], may be associated with the surrounding features, but given its location in an area notable for its evidence of prehistoric funerary activity, its identification as a large Iron Age square barrow cannot be ruled out.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 31 March 2004.

Monument Types

  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Unknown date)
  • BUILDING (Unknown date)
  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Unknown date)
  • ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Unknown date)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • PIT (Unknown date)
  • POST HOLE (Unknown date)
  • SQUARE ENCLOSURE (Unknown date)
  • STRUCTURE? (Unknown date)
  • SQUARE BARROW (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUILDING (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DITCH (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DOUBLE DITCHED ENCLOSURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DRAINAGE DITCH (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FIELD BOUNDARY (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MANOR HOUSE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • PIT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POST HOLE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SHRUNKEN VILLAGE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • SQUARE ENCLOSURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • STRUCTURE (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • WATERMILL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 23 NW 11.
---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. Roughton.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Article in Serial: Dollin, B. 1984. Roughton. Earthworks/Moat. Medieval Moated Sites Research Group Annual Report. No 11 pp 21-22.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1606 6146-7 27-JUN-1946 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1969. OS/69038 041-2 04-APR-1969 (NMR).
<S5>Oblique Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1996. NHER TG 2236E-F (NLA 373/JBP5-6) 19-JUL-1996.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1968. OS/68083 050 25-APR-1968 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: BKS. 1988. BKS 2369-70 03-SEP-1988 (NCC 4563-4).

Related records - none

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