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Connecting Moat Farm Chase with the River Walk is an early nineteenth century brick three arch bridge. The river was crossed by a ford prior to this being built. One end is now closed off to prevent vehicular traffic proceeding from Moat Farm Chase onto to the River Walk. The track it supports is of great antiquity connecting the Iron Age and Saxon settlement of Chipping Hill with the Roman road.

The bridge was built in 1800, with the original ford next to it still used by carts up to around the
1960s. In late 2015 a part of a later addition to form a gate at the River Walk side of the bridge
collapsed and was removed. At the same time some re-pointing was carried out leaving the original
structure intact and in good repair.


The Saxon burgh can be seen clearly from the river walk here, and it is probably from the Saxon era that the name 'Moat Farm' originated. There is record of the farm being known as 'Meate' in 1573. This is a more likely explanation of the name than it being derived from a moat which surroundeding burh. It may be here that in 1086 the knowledgeable people of the Witham Hundred gathered to answer King William's questions in the making of the Domesday Survey, as it was possibly the place where the hundred court used to be held, often referred to as the 'Moot'.   
 

Sources: Janet Gyford; Braintree & Witham Times; Maurice Smith; Witham & Countryside Society

Text and Photographs: John Palombi and Cyril Taylor unless otherwise accredited. Illustrations: John Finch and Julie & John Denney. Translations: Google.com. Original Concept: Joy Vaughan, Witham Town Centre Strategy Group. Narration: John Rhodes
 

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