Ancient Monuments

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The 'Castle' moated site, 500m ESE of Hawkesbourne Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Rusper, West Sussex

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Latitude: 51.0939 / 51°5'38"N

Longitude: -0.2915 / 0°17'29"W

OS Eastings: 519737.512924

OS Northings: 134123.917144

OS Grid: TQ197341

Mapcode National: GBR HJ9.C44

Mapcode Global: FRA B687.B8H

Entry Name: The 'Castle' moated site, 500m ESE of Hawkesbourne Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008050

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20035

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Rusper

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Roffey All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a rectangular moated site situated adjacent to Channells
Brook on a gentle south-facing slope.
The site has a rectangular island measuring 72m north-south by 48m east-west
with an internal earthwork bank on all four sides. The bank is c.1.5m high and
c.7m wide around most of the island, with an entrance in the eastern end of
the south side. In the south-eastern corner the bank survives to a height of
The moat surrounding the island is now dry but was originally waterfilled. It
was fed via a leat which ran into the north-western corner of the moat from a
stream to the west and then out in the south-western corner. The ditch,
although having become partially infilled over the years, measures up to 10m
wide and 2m deep.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

The moated site 500m ESE of Hawkesbourne Farm survives well with the interior
of the island largely undisturbed by later activity. The large internal
earthen banks are an unusual feature for a moated site in south-east England.
The monument contains archaeological remains and environmental evidence
relating to the economy of the site and the landscape in which it was

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County, (1905), 477
Ordnance Survey, TQ 13 SE 3, (1971)

Source: Historic England

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