Ancient Monuments

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Moated site in Ragget's Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Ansty and Staplefield, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9944 / 50°59'39"N

Longitude: -0.1767 / 0°10'36"W

OS Eastings: 528048.144207

OS Northings: 123245.829042

OS Grid: TQ280232

Mapcode National: GBR JLY.Q39

Mapcode Global: FRA B6JH.0ZG

Entry Name: Moated site in Ragget's Wood

Scheduled Date: 23 November 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012310

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20034

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Ansty and Staplefield

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Cuckfield Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a rectangular, partly waterfilled moated site with
associated fishponds situated in a valley bottom. The island is orientated
north-south; it measures 33m by 28m and is surrounded by a ditch or moat which
is between 7m and 10m wide. The moat is fed from springs to the north of the
monument through the inlet leat in the north east corner. The north and east
arms are waterlogged while the west and south arms are both waterfilled.
These are connected in the south west corner via a sluice gate to the three
fishponds which are situated to the west of the moat. The first fishpond is
waterfilled and measures 52m north-south by 18m east-west. It is separated
from the moat by a retaining bank 5m wide which stands at a height of 1.5m.
This was constructed in order to keep up the level of water in the moat as the
site on which the monument is situated slopes slightly to the west. The ponds
are at a lower level than the moat and the waterflow is now controlled by a
brick sluice dating to c.1920. The next set of ponds are separated from the
first pond by a bank 7m wide which slopes down to the west. The next pond is
fed from the first through a channel in its south west corner. This second
pond is 21m long and 12m wide; it runs parallel to the first, is again
waterfilled and is separated from a third pond to the north of it by a bank 1m
wide. The third pond measures c.30m by 12m and is only partially waterfilled
in the south, the rest having become silted up over the years. On the west
edge of the second and third ponds is another retaining bank 4m wide and 1.2m
The brick sluice, fencing which surrounds the monument and the inlet leat are
excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them 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 Ragget's Wood survives well, the island having remained
relatively undisturbed. The waterlogging of the ditch and fishponds provides
ideal conditions for the survival of organic remains and environmental
evidence relating both to the economy of the site and the landscape in which
it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Goodman, C H, 'Sussex Notes and Queries' in Sussex Notes and Queries (Volume 1), (1926)
Goodman, C H, 'Sussex Notes and Queries' in Sussex Notes and Queries (Volume 1), (1926), 24
Mr Clarke (owner), Re: Fishponds at Ragget's Wood, (1991)
SMR Record Card (3981), (1971)

Source: Historic England

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