Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site with associated fishponds, Flower Lane

A Scheduled Monument in Godstone, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.2561 / 51°15'22"N

Longitude: -0.0579 / 0°3'28"W

OS Eastings: 535620.900594

OS Northings: 152563.50367

OS Grid: TQ356525

Mapcode National: GBR KKB.46J

Mapcode Global: VHGS5.YP8F

Entry Name: Medieval moated site with associated fishponds, Flower Lane

Scheduled Date: 20 March 1967

Last Amended: 2 May 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012786

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12755

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Godstone

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Godstone and Blindley Heath

Church of England Diocese: Southwark


The monument off Flower Lane includes a well preserved medieval moated site
with its outlet leat and a pair of rectangular depressions which are the
remains of fishponds. Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious
residences of the Lords of the manor, the moat marking the high status of the
occupier but also serving to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most
moats were constructed in the period either side of 1300 AD and it is to this
period that the moated site off Flower Lane is likely to date.

The moat itself is square is plan and is surrounded by an earthen bank up to
1m above the surrounding field. Within the moat is a relatively small island,
flat and featureless, on which would have stood the main building. Water
entered the moat via the fishponds to the north-east and drained south-
westwards along a leat.

To the north-east of the moated sites, the pair of fishponds survive as
shallow earthworks embanked on their south-eastern sides. In addition a
slight bank is visible leading north-westwards from the upper pond. These
additional embankments may have served to divert excess water around the
fishpond/moated site complex in times of spate. A water channel has been cut
through the fishponds in recent times: sluices would formerly have controlled
the flow of water through the ponds.

The concrete pipe which conducts water from the lower fishpond to the moat,
together with its recent overburden, are excluded from the scheduling, as is
the footpath across the site, although the ground beneath it is included.

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 example off Flower Lane survives remarkably well and as a result
illustrates some of the diversity of component features which went to make up
a moated manor complex.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map and includes a 5 metre
boundary around the archaeological features on the SE, SW and NE sides,
considered essential for the monument's preservation and support.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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