Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Ewhurst Place

A Scheduled Monument in Ifield, West Sussex

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Latitude: 51.1233 / 51°7'23"N

Longitude: -0.2026 / 0°12'9"W

OS Eastings: 525880.166281

OS Northings: 137539.137993

OS Grid: TQ258375

Mapcode National: GBR JKC.HL6

Mapcode Global: VHGSW.F1Q6

Entry Name: Moated site at Ewhurst Place

Scheduled Date: 26 February 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009754

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20014

County: West Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: Ifield

Built-Up Area: Crawley

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Ifield St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes an inner and an outer moat which define a square island
and a roughly L-shaped precinct area. The main island, which contains a late
16th century house, measures 35m north-south by 37m east-west and is
surrounded by a water-filled moat which measures between 10 and 15m wide. The
house in the north-west of the island forms a brick facing to that corner of
the island. A brick-faced edge also survives on the south side of the island,
the interior of one block of brickwork having been fused by intense heat
caused by the burning down of the building which was of a similar age to that
still standing. Further brick foundations have been uncovered in other areas
of the island indicating a much more extensive arrangement of buildings,
particularly during the 16th/17th centuries. Stone foundations adjacent to
the present house show the presence of an earlier building on the island,
while a pottery fragment from the moat indicates the site being used at least
as early as the 14th century. The remains of a brick and stone lined ice pit
were also discovered adjacent to the house, as was a well. To the north and
east the outer moated area measures 140m east-west by 110m north-south with
the surrounding ditch measuring 3m to 6m wide and 0.5m to 1m deep. Various
brick foundations have been located within this outer precinct. The area also
includes the sites of three fishponds one of which is still visible as a
depression in the ground c.0.3m deep and measuring 20m north-south and 6m
east-west. Running south from this pond is a shallow depression, 4m wide and
0.1-0.2m deep, representing the remains of a ditch which would have connected
the inner moat to the pond, enabling water to flow through the pond and into
the outer ditch. Another connecting ditch runs east-west from the north edge
of the main moat to the outer moat. This was the main outflow point of the
inner moat and water from the main moat was used to keep the outer moat full.
The inlet to the main moat is in the south-west corner.
The house on the main island is listed Grade II* and a single arched 18th
century brick bridge over the moat to the west of the island is listed Grade
II. These are excluded from the scheduling as are modern paving, steps and
brick walls, the footbridges to the north and south of the island including
their foundations, the modern brick surround to the well, the outbuilding to
the east of the house, the brick sluice, the garden shed in the outer precinct
and the bungalow in the north-east corner of the outer moat. However the
ground beneath all of these is included.

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 at Ewhurst Place survives well with large areas apparently
undisturbed. It exhibits a high diversity of component features such as the
outer moated area and fishponds in addition to the main moat and island.

Source: Historic England


Dr Clout, (1991)
Dr Clout, Medieval Pot Sherd, (1961)

Source: Historic England

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