Ancient Monuments

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Manor house (remains of)

A Scheduled Monument in Crowhurst, East Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.8835 / 50°53'0"N

Longitude: 0.4965 / 0°29'47"E

OS Eastings: 575705.676702

OS Northings: 112306.110598

OS Grid: TQ757123

Mapcode National: GBR PWV.DCR

Mapcode Global: FRA C6XR.Z48

Entry Name: Manor house (remains of)

Scheduled Date: 1 May 1951

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002294

English Heritage Legacy ID: ES 133

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Crowhurst

Built-Up Area: Crowhurst

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Crowhurst St George

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Summary

Remains of a medieval manor house, 40m south-west of St George’s Church.

Source: Historic England

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 November 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes a 13th century manor house surviving as upstanding and below-ground remains. It is situated in the village of Crowhurst on a south-facing slope near the foot of a stream valley with Powdermill Stream a short distance to the south. The buttressed walls average 1.2m thick and are built of ragstone and sandstone with some ashlar in places. The upstanding remains include the north cross-wing and the entrance porch, from which the hall originally extended southwards. The east wall of the cross-wing stands to about 11m, the height of the original roof-ridge. It contains a great pointed window, of Decorated style, with roots of geometrical tracery. The south-west corner turret had a moulded doorway and quadripartite vault, which has now collapsed. The north wall survives to a height of about 4m and includes the remains of a tiled hearth. A resistivity survey in 1989 and an archaeological watching brief in 2004 recorded further buried remains of walls, wall footings and possible buttressing near to the upstanding remains.

The manor house was built by Walter de Scotney in around 1250. He was executed in 1259 and the manor reverted briefly to the crown. It was then granted to Peter of Savoy and later to John de Bretagne, Earl of Richmond. In 1342 John of Gaunt was granted the Earldom and its lands and he apparently rebuilt or enlarged the manor between 1357 and 1360. The manor house later fell out of use and is described as a ruin by 1854.

The upstanding remains are Grade II listed.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Manorial centres were important foci of medieval rural life. They served as prestigious aristocratic or seigniorial residences, the importance of their inhabitants being reflected in the quality and elaboration of their buildings. Local agricultural and village life was normally closely regulated by the Lord of the manor, and hence the inhabitants of these sites had a controlling interest in many aspects of medieval life. Manorial sites could take on many forms. In many areas of the country the buildings were located within a moat, the latter being intended to further impress the status of the site on the wider population. Other manors were not moated their status being indicated largely by the quality of their buildings. This latter group of manorial centres are the most difficult to identify today because the sites were not enclosed by major earthwork features, such as a moat, which may survive well, and the original buildings often exhibited a fairly unplanned layout which could extend over a large area. Continued use of the site has also in many instances led to destruction of medieval remains. Hence examples of medieval manorial centres of this type which can be positively identified and demonstrated to have extensive surviving archaeological remains are relatively rare.

The medieval manor house at Crowhurst survives well with a large amount of upstanding masonry remains and some significant architectural details. The area in and around the manor house will contain important below-ground archaeological remains relating to the history and use of the site. Alongside documentary sources, these remains provide a significant insight into an important manorial centre that would have had a considerable influence on the surrounding area in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
East Sussex HER MES3724. NMR TQ71SE3. PastScape 414553

Source: Historic England

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