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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 356261

Hob Uid: 356261
Location :
King's Lynn and West Norfolk
Grid Ref : TF6700017600
Summary : The moated site of Scales hall medieval manor house and adjacent earthworks related to the manor. To the east of the moat are the earthwork remains of the manorial fishponds and associated water management features. Both the moat and fishponds are contained within a larger earthwork enclosure. The moat, which contains water and is between 10-16 metres in width, surrounds a rectangular central island measuring 74 metres east-west by 40 metres north-south. On the south side of the central island is a three storey brick gatehouse. It formed part of a house thought to have been begun by Thomas, seventh Lord Scales. For the full description of the gatehouse, now a house known as Middleton Towers, see TF 61 NE 12 (Uid number 356261). The moat is situated in the northern half of the outer enclosure which is quadrilateral in plan with maximum dimensions of 225 metres east-west by 120 metres north-south at the western end and 175 metres at the eastern end. This larger enclosure is bounded by an earthen bank up to 1 metre in height, most clearly defined on the west side and where it borders the outer edge of the moat on the north side. Within the north eastern angle of this enclosure are two fishponds. To the north east of the ponds, beyond the eastern boundary of the outer enclosure, is a flat-topped rectangular platform which is likely to have been the location of a dovecote. To the north of the platform is a sub-circular mound which is perhaps the site of an earlier, circular dovecote. These features lie within a rectangular ditched enclosure about 180 metres long north-south by 40 metres, to the south and east of which are a further series of rectangular enclosures. The enclosures are thought to be of medieval date and to be for the most part the yards and closes of the manor.
More information : "TF 66801750 approximately - Middleton Towers. Banks and ditches, etc which may indicate a Deserted Medieval Village." (1)

Plans of Holt House Estate, Leziate and Middleton 1894 show no evidence of occupation/desertion adjacent to Middleton Towers. (2)

To the east of Middleton Towers a series of earthworks of Medieval character perhaps manorial, occupy some 5 ha of pasture centred TF 670175. They comprise three, probably but not necessarily, associated features.

TF 66981757. A series of three dry fish ponds fed by a shallow channel at the south east angle. The largest pond measures 46.0m long by 14.0m wide and 0.7m deep, and two smaller ponds which partly surround a small rectangular island which measures circa 20.0m long by 16.0m wide by 0.4m deep.

TF 67111755. On rising ground an area of probable occupation is indicated by disturbed ground and nettles associated with a series of ditched enclosures and trackways but with no evidence of steadings.

On a minor ridge between these features are two small, contiguous and rather enigmatic earthworks.

The first at TF 67041760 comprises a rectangular platform some 1.0m high surrounded by a shallow ditch. It measures 22.0m overall and there is a tiny causeway in the centre of the north side. The top measures 9.0m square almost entirely taken up with a 'H' shaped depression, the arms of which extend trenchlike to the edge of the mound.

On the north side, contiguous to the ditch is a lesser rather
mutilated ovoid platform (15.0m x 13.0m) surrounded by the vestigial remains of a ditch, best preserved on the north side.

The purpose of these two works is not known. Tradition (a) has it that horses were buried in the rectangular mound and while the sort of thing is not unknown a more prosaic origin is likely although it is difficult to suggest what. Certainly a mill mound (5) is unlikely in view of the shape of the major platform and the shape of the depression which would be unique in cross-tree arrangement.

Surveyed at 1:2500. (3)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Council for British Archaeology Group 7: Bulletin of archaeological discoveries
Source details : J Webb
Page(s) : 8
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 15 (1968)
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 PAS 12-OCT-78
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3a
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Mr Bartley owner Middleton Towers
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
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Source Number : 4
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 21-Jan-99
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Manor, Fishpond, Dovecote, Enclosure, Ditched Enclosure, Yard
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 3395
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 30552
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TF 61 NE 20
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 356249
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TF 61 NE 20
Start Date : 1978-10-12
End Date : 1978-10-12