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HHER Number:46
Type of record:Monument


Undated mound surrounded by a square 'moat' but of uncertain age and function

Grid Reference:TL 354 180
Map Sheet:TL31NE
Parish:Thundridge, East Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Monument Types

  • MOUND (Unknown date)
  • MOAT? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1500 AD)
  • MOTTE? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1500 AD)
  • PROSPECT MOUND? (Post Medieval - 1501 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Ancient Monument HT22: MOATED MOUND S OF RENNESLEY GARDEN WOOD
  • Scheduled Ancient Monument 22:
  • Area of Archaeological Significance 109

Full description

Circular earthen mound 12.5m diameter and 1.3m high surrounded on N, S and E sides by a ditch. This is square in plan, c.9m wide and up to 1.8m deep, and now dry. Age and function unclear; it has been described as a moat or a barrow and on the OS 6" map as the site of a castle. In good condition <1>.
It was already considered to be a 'Moat' and '(Site of) Castle' in 1880 <3>. The 1880 map shows the 'moat' as three arms, apparently still water-filled. The two corners were not quite at right-angles (so it was not quite square), and the arms were 21, 26, and 22m long.
The SM description <2> calls this 'the most interesting of the moated mounds in Herts… a mound c.11m square and 1.87m in height, standing on a square platform… (and) surrounded on three sides by a moat'. The moat is dry; the site is covered in woodland (which is not ancient). Its date is unknown, and its form peculiar.
It stands on high ground overlooking a slope down to the river to the east. It may be an elaborate post-medieval prospect mound (compare [43]), but the topography suggests it might be an older earthwork adapted for this purpose. Further earthworks lie to the west and north <4>, and may extend into Rennesley Garden Wood (see [2085]). <4> suggests that the earthworks to the west could be a medieval manorial centre; a manor of Rennesley is documented.

Anne Wells (HCC) site report, 3.5.78 (Unpublished document). SHT1879.

OS Records (Index). SHT8223.

Aylott, G, 1906, Earthworks at Temple Chelsing and Rennesley; Trans East Herts Archaeol Soc 3/2, 133-4 (Article in serial). SHT4211.

RCHM (England), 1911, Inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire, - p209 (Bibliographic reference). SHT9222.

<1> Information, KAT (HCC), Site visit, Jan 1995 (Unpublished document). SHT5258.

<2> Scheduled Monument description (Scheduling record). SHT9990.

<3> OS 25 inch map, 1st edition, 1880 (Cartographic material). SHT8116.

<4> Secker, Dan, 1997, (Plan of) Rennesley Castle and Rennesley Furneaux manor (Graphic material). SHT6080.

Sources and further reading

---Unpublished document: Anne Wells (HCC) site report. 3.5.78.
---Article in serial: Aylott, G. 1906. Earthworks at Temple Chelsing and Rennesley; Trans East Herts Archaeol Soc 3/2, 133-4.
---Index: OS Records.
---Bibliographic reference: RCHM (England). 1911. Inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire. - p209.
<1>Unpublished document: Information, KAT (HCC). Site visit, Jan 1995.
<2>Scheduling record: Scheduled Monument description.
<3>Cartographic material: OS 25 inch map, 1st edition. 1880.
<4>Graphic material: Secker, Dan. 1997. (Plan of) Rennesley Castle and Rennesley Furneaux manor.