The moated sites of Norfolk remain enigmatic monuments within the landscape. Despite their frequency these sites, of which there are over 400, remain largely untroubled by modern archaeological technique, and their origins and use continue to be subjects for speculation. The material presented here draws on the recent excavation of a moated site at Wimbotsham, and provides new evidence for the establishment and layout of this monument type. The manorial framework of Wimbotsham at this time has been explored by Alan Davison and is presented in this report.
The moated site was constructed on the green-edge in Wimbotsham towards the end of the 12th century, probably by the de Warenne family. Documentary research demonstrated that the earthwork is the remains of a moated rectory. Excavation revealed evidence for two earth building platforms on the island within the moat, a series of drainage channels and the remains of a 13th- or 14th-century timber-framed building.
A large number of finds relating to the medieval and late medieval occupation of the moated rectory were also recovered. The site appears to have become progressively more dilapidated during the later 15th and 16th centuries, its ditches filling with refuse and a tiled roof apparently collapsing. The rectory was eventually abandoned in the early 1600s.
Andy Shelley, 2003. 'A moated rectory at Wimbotsham, Norfolk', East Anglian Archaeology Occasional Papers 12