Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site in West Grinstead Park

A Scheduled Monument in West Grinstead, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9829 / 50°58'58"N

Longitude: -0.3327 / 0°19'57"W

OS Eastings: 517129.805496

OS Northings: 121712.014364

OS Grid: TQ171217

Mapcode National: GBR HKM.6QK

Mapcode Global: FRA B66J.05R

Entry Name: Medieval moated site in West Grinstead Park

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 10 September 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011777

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12862

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: West Grinstead

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: West Grinstead St George

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes the moat and internal area of the site of a moated
house which served as a hunting lodge for West Grinstead Park from A.D.1326.
The moat forms an approximate square, measuring a maximum of 55m east/west
by 48m north/south. It was fed by a small stream which has since been
diverted. The moat survives with an average width of 10m but its original
depth is unknown owing to infilling by silt.
The moat island measures some 30m square, and on this area would have stood
the lodge together with other buildings such as stables. The island was
reached by a timber bridge, but no evidence of its position survives on the

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 example in West Grinstead Park is one of a number of moated sites which
were used as temporary residences during deer hunting trips. As such it
illustrates the variety of uses to which such monuments were put in the
South-East. The undisturbed nature of the interior indicates that the
monument holds considerable potential for the recovery of evidence of the
form of the buildings in addition to the potential for the preservation of
normally-perishable remains such as food refuse and leather clothing in the
waterlogged moat.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
SMR County Monument No. 3600,

Source: Historic England

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