Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site, Cudworth Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Newdigate, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.1629 / 51°9'46"N

Longitude: -0.2687 / 0°16'7"W

OS Eastings: 521153.952979

OS Northings: 141825.580903

OS Grid: TQ211418

Mapcode National: GBR HHK.4VG

Mapcode Global: VHGSN.919C

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, Cudworth Manor

Scheduled Date: 2 May 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012789

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12761

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Newdigate

Built-Up Area: Cudworth

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Newdigate

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The monument at Cudworth Manor includes the moat itself and the area within
the moat. Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of
the Lords of the manor, the moat marking the high status of the occupiers but
also serving to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moats were built
in the period to either side of 1300 AD, and it is to this period that the
example at Cudworth is likely to date.
Although the buildings of the moat island have been extensively modified, the
moat itself remains essentially intact. It averages 6m in width and is brick-
revetted only on the inner bank of the north-west side. It was probably
originally fed directly from the adjacent stream but is now separated from it
and is supplied by seepage from that stream, which passes close by on the
western side effectively creating an outer moat, albeit probably later, on
this side. The standing buildings within the moated area are excluded from
the scheduling (but not the ground beneath), but building material of medieval
date visible in the footings of the present house suggest that in its final
form the moated manor took the form of a courtyard house of which extensive
remains may survive in what is now the garden of the house. The scheduling
applies only to buried remains and earthworks. All of the standing structures
in the garden are excluded, amongst which are the footbridges across the moat,
the low wall and paths in the garden, the steps on the inner and outer sides
of the moat at the northern corner and the sluice in the same area. The
ground beneath each, however, 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 example of Cudworth Manor is of importance because the moat survives in
excellent condition and because the undisturbed nature of much of the moat
island will have allowed the evidence of the form and organisation of the
moated manor to survive. Together these factors indicate that the monument is
of high archaeological potential.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Surrey Antiquity 860,

Source: Historic England

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