Record Details

NHER Number:9438
Type of record:Monument
Name:Probable medieval ringwork of 'Moot Hill', Gristlewood


The earthworks of what was probably a large, medieval ringwork survive to some considerable height; they have been subject to ground survey and are partially visible on aerial photographs. The ringwork, which is located in an isolated part of the Stanfield estate, is thought by some to have been built by the D'Albinis between 1088 and 1139. The feature measures approximately 150m by 130m, with a large bank and water-filled ditch; the internal area also appears to be filled with irregular water-filled pits or ponds. It is thought that a gold ring of Katherine Bigot, wife of Roger Fitz-Ortet who held Stanfield Manor in AD 1306, was also recovered from this area.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 1255 0185
Map Sheet:TG10SW

Full description

Despite name, not a hundred court site. Derived from Mote Hill?
(S1) suggests a 12th century ring motte which is probably correct. R. R. Clarke (NCM) in April 1930 gave dimentions as 525ft (160m) by 420ft (128m). 150 yds (136m) by 130 yds (118m), single bank with external wet ditch, rampart 14-16ft (4.3m - 4.9m) above bottom of ditch; ground level inside 7ft (2.1m) above ditch bottom; at 125ft (38m) OD. Pools in interior, entrance on north.

Trenches dug by Mr Batteley of Wymondham inside revealed pot boilers and animal bones - nothing dateable.
Seen by R. R. Clarke (NCM).

4 June 1980. Visited by E. Rose (NAU).
Totally overgrown but in good condition. Clarke's dimensions seem correct but too overgrown to be exactly checked, or even to see if ditch is still wet! Interior ponds are remarkably deep - purpose? - resemble quarries. NB interior very
dangerous; undergrowth 1m high conceals small pits and fallen trees. Only access from Harts Farm. This is an isolated salient of the Stanfield estate and used to have its own level crossing! See below - was this the site of the original Stanfield manor?
Found in 'Grishaugh Wood' (?Gristlewood). Gold ring of Katherine Bigot, wife of Roger Fitz-Ortet who held Stanfield Manor AD 1306. Ornamented with interior inscription, seal with another inscription and goat (S2). Formerly numbered as NHER 9442. According to R. R. Clarke, in NCM.
E. Rose (NAU).

(S3) - NB description inaccurate. Ditches marked north of Gristlewood House (now gone) seem to be modern drainage. (S4) (not checked), (S5), (S1).
Aerial photographs Meridian airmaps Ltd nos 90/67 174 and 175 (Unit accesion TG 1201/B and C (S6).

Site remains very overgrown, with dead wood littering both ditches and interior.
H. Paterson (NLA), 20 February 1997.

October 1999. Earthwork Survey.
Survey at 1:1250.
See report (S10) for plan and further details. This site was included in (S11) and the survey is also noted in (S12).
B. Cushion, 20 October 1999. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 1 April 2015.

(S7) suggests that this was built by the D'Albinis between 1088 and 1139.
D. Gurney (NLA), 14 May 2003.

(S8) states that this was at the centre of Grisehahe or Old Deer Park - no other details given and map of park too general to transfer to the HER.
E. Rose (NLA), 23 April 2007

May 2011. Norfolk NMP.
The site of the probable medieval ringwork described above, centred at TG 1255 0185, is visible on various aerial photographs, including (S6) as mentioned above. Unfortunately the earthworks themselves are largely or entirely covered by trees and other vegetation on all of the aerial photographs consulted for the NMP survey. Even mapping from those taken in April 1946 (S9), on which substantial portions of the outer ditch are more or less visible, could not add to existing surveys of the site, such as that published in (S11). The latter together with Ordnance Survey mapping has been used as the basis for MORPH recording, but the site has not been mapped by the NMP.
S. Tremlett (NMP), 18 May 2011.

Monument Types

  • RINGWORK (Unknown date)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval to 16th Century - 1088 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • DITCH (Medieval to 16th Century - 1088 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • MOTTE? (Medieval to 16th Century - 1088 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • POND (Medieval to 16th Century - 1088 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • RINGWORK (Medieval to 16th Century - 1088 AD? to 1539 AD?)

Associated Finds

  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Undated)
  • POT BOILER (Undated)
  • FINGER RING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF30.
---Designation: Corbishley, M.J.. 1983. AM107.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TG 10 SW 4 [2].
---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. Wymondham [2].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Publication: Braun. 1936. The English Castle.
<S2>Publication: 1835. Woodward Correspondance. p.59 2.
<S3>Article in Serial: 1884. Appendix. Extracts from the Proceedings at General and Committee Meetings. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol IX pp 359-369. p 363.
<S4>Serial: 1858 -. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. vol.XIV p.196.
<S5>Publication: Clarke. 1915. Guide to Wymondham. p.19.
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Meridian Airmaps Limited. 1967. MAL 67090 174-5 15-NOV-1967 (NHER TG 1201B-C).
<S7>Monograph: Liddiard, R.. 2000. Landscapes of lordship: Norman castles and the countryside in medieval Norfolk, 1066-1200.. pp 88-89.
<S8>Publication: Cattermole, P.. 2007. Wymondham Abbey. P 161-2. p 10; map.
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1429 4117-8 16-APR-1946 (NMR).
<S10>Unpublished Report: Cushion, B. 1999. Wymondham Moot Hill SMR 9438. Earthwork Survey Report.
<S11>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 104. p 186.
<S12>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2000. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1999. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt III pp 521-543. p 542.

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