Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site at Ifield Court

A Scheduled Monument in Rusper, West Sussex

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Latitude: 51.1311 / 51°7'51"N

Longitude: -0.2197 / 0°13'10"W

OS Eastings: 524668.828336

OS Northings: 138370.6932

OS Grid: TQ246383

Mapcode National: GBR JKB.57S

Mapcode Global: VHGSP.4TQT

Entry Name: Medieval moated site at Ifield Court

Scheduled Date: 24 October 1968

Last Amended: 19 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012464

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12884

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Rusper

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Ifield St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a moat, its internal area and also a platform and
shallow ditch to the south west. The whole area forms the site of the manor
house of Ifield Court which was superseded by the present building to the east
of the moated site.
The moat island is nearly rectangular and measures 75m NW-SE by some 60m SW-
NE. On this area the remains of the manor house itself and ancillary
buildings such as a kitchen, stables and storehouses are considered likely to
survive. The moat around the island averages 12m in width and is crossed by a
modern bridge near its north-east corner.
To the south is a raised platform 40m by 30m which forms an extension to the
moat island. The moat formerly continued around this platform and is still
detectable as a marshy area and as a pond in the southernmost point of the
monument, although it has been infilled to the north-west of the pond to ease
access to the platform area.
The footings and structure of both bridges onto the moat island and the pens
at the northern corner of the island are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath remains 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 Ifield Court survives well and holds considerable potential
for the recovery of evidence of the nature and duration of use of the moated
manor. The presence of an extension to the rectangular moat island adds to
the complexity of the monument and exemplifies the diversity of layout amongst
this type of site.

Source: Historic England


County Monument No. 3998,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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