Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site, Glottenham Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Mountfield, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9726 / 50°58'21"N

Longitude: 0.4577 / 0°27'27"E

OS Eastings: 572648.462618

OS Northings: 122114.053516

OS Grid: TQ726221

Mapcode National: GBR PVM.VZN

Mapcode Global: FRA C6VJ.VHY

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, Glottenham Castle

Scheduled Date: 18 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012779

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12740

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Mountfield

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Etchingham The Assumption and St Nicolas

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The moated site at Glottenham Castle includes a rectangular moat defining an
island 50m long and 35m across, with a low external bank on the eastern side.
Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of
the manor. The moat marked the high status of the occupier, but also served
to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moats were constructed between
1250 and 1350, and partial excavation of the site at Glottenham has shown that
a date around 1300 is entirely appropriate for the site.
Historical records suggest that Glottenham became the family seat of the de
Etchinghams until it was abandoned in the late 16th or 17th century.
Outside the moated area on the east side is an obliquely-aligned bank no more
then 30cm in height. The causeway at the north-west corner is a recent
addition but at the north-east corner an original leat survives which drained
the water from the moat.
The main feature of the excavations was the discovery of a stone-built
gatehouse on the west side of the moat island which straddled the entrance
All above-ground structures within the scheduled area are excluded from the
scheduling, fencing forming the main example.

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 Glottenham is one of a small but significant group of hill-
top spring-fed moated sites which add balance to the generally lowland
distribution of this class of monument. Limited excavations have confirmed
the good survival of archaeological deposits on the island and the moat is
likely to be of similarly high potential.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Martin, D, Excavations At Glottenham Castle, (1990)
Martin, D, 'The Rape of Hastings Architectural Survey' in Glottenham Castle, ()
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
TQ 72 SW 3,

Source: Historic England

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