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Medieval moated site in Parlour Copse

A Scheduled Monument in Harting, West Sussex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9922 / 50°59'31"N

Longitude: -0.873 / 0°52'22"W

OS Eastings: 479189.899292

OS Northings: 122027.401032

OS Grid: SU791220

Mapcode National: GBR CCD.N42

Mapcode Global: FRA 961H.CPK

Entry Name: Medieval moated site in Parlour Copse

Scheduled Date: 31 July 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012186

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12853

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Harting

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Harting St Mary and St Gabriel

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

Details

The monument includes the moat, interior area and outer banks on the site of
a medieval moated manor house. The monument is of an unusual triangular
form. The eastern arm of the moat is some 100m long and 20m wide. The north-
western arm is of a similar length and is 25m wide. The southern arm of the
moat is narrower, measuring some 7m across, and is also the longest of the
three at 110m. The northern corner of the triangle has been expanded into a
rectangular pond 60m by 45m known as Parlour Pond. Outside the moat,
earthworks survive on two sides. To the south the moat is embanked to a
height of over 1m in places, with a marked break in the bank near the south-
east corner representing a former inlet leat. On the north-west side, a
raised area bordered on both sides by shallow ditches may indicate the
position of a bridge abutment and hence the means of access onto the moat
island.
The moat island has an undulating surface due to the foundations of former
buildings in this area. Some of these foundations were exposed during
partial excavations in the 1940s, and pottery from these investigations was
dated to the medieval period. Occupation was found to have ceased during the
17th century. The scheduling follows the field boundaries but the fences are
excluded from the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 in Parlour Copse survives well. Despite the disturbance
caused by partial excavation, the monument retains considerable
archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence both of the different
buildings on the moat island and of the lifestyle of their occupants. The
unusual triangular form of the moat adds to the known range of types of this
class of monument.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
County Monument No. 0290,

Source: Historic England

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