Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site with flanking ditches and associated fishpond, Claverham Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Arlington, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.861 / 50°51'39"N

Longitude: 0.1824 / 0°10'56"E

OS Eastings: 553684.440906

OS Northings: 109102.988222

OS Grid: TQ536091

Mapcode National: GBR MSY.YQV

Mapcode Global: FRA C68T.NVH

Entry Name: Medieval moated site with flanking ditches and associated fishpond, Claverham Manor

Scheduled Date: 27 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012781

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12744

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Arlington

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Arlington St Pancras

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The moated site at Claverham includes a nearly-square moat 83m by 72m and up
to 20m wide, an island on which stood the buildings of the manor house, a
fishpond on the northern, upstream side and a pair of kidney-shaped extensions
to the moat on the south-east 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 it is to this period that the example at Claverham is
likely to date. The manor was held by the Fiennes family in the 16th century
and perhaps earlier.
The moat, which has been partially cleaned out in recent years, is linked to
the fishpond on the north side by a leat which would probably have been
controlled by a sluice. Both of the south-eastern ponds, although not
necessarily as early as the moat proper, were probably joined to it prior to
infilling in recent years and may represent flanking ditches or a partial
outer moat dug to embellish the original entrance way from the south. The
island contains the foundations of former buildings in the sizeable
undisturbed lawns on the north side, although part of the area has been lost
to the present house of late medieval or early post-medieval date (Listed
Grade II). The entrance on the south side, although now broadened, is likely
to preserve the location of the original entrance.
All upstanding structures within the constraint area are excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath each structure 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 Claverham illustrates the diversity of components which a
moated manor often comprised - the fishpond and grand flanking outer moat arms
in addition to the inner moat. Despite the partial clearance of the moats
themselves and the building works which have occurred on the moat island, the
site is still considered to retain significant archaeological information
regarding the development of the manor and its buildings.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Pagination 981, 17/497, Listed buildings,
TQ 50 NW 4,

Source: Historic England

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