Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site, South Park Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Witley, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.1119 / 51°6'42"N

Longitude: -0.6928 / 0°41'34"W

OS Eastings: 491598.863138

OS Northings: 135542.482497

OS Grid: SU915355

Mapcode National: GBR DCL.CMX

Mapcode Global: VHDYP.Y92Z

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, South Park Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 June 1973

Last Amended: 2 May 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012791

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12756

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Witley

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Grayswood

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The monument at South Park Farm includes the rectangular terrace to the north
of the moat and to the west of the green lane in addition to the area of the
moat itself with its eastward extension and earthen bank. Such 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 to
either side of 1300 AD, and it is to this period that the example at South
Park Farm is likely to date.
The main moat is square in plan and one main leat bringing water to the
monument is visible today, this outfalling at the south-west corner of the
moat. To the east is a three-sided extension to the moat which is bordered on
its eastern edge by a well-formed bank running alongside the green lane. At
the northern edge of this extension is a projection of the moat which may have
been fed by water independently, perhaps providing the unusual opportunity for
a fishpond on the downstream side of the moated house. The moat island, to
which a bridge must have provided access although there is no visible evidence
of its location, is flat-topped and featureless. Fragments of tile and brick
amongst the roots of fallen trees, however, indicates that this was once the
site of a building. Field drains enter the moat at various points and a brick
culvert marks the exit of water. The drains themselves and the disturbed soil
above them are excluded from the scheduling along with the dams between the
main moat and the moat extension and all fencing within the scheduled area.

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 moated site at South Park survives well and exhibits a number of component
parts such as an outer bank, an additional area of moat with a possible
fishpond and an outer courtyard in addition to the main moat and island. Due
to the continued waterlogging of the moats and the slightness of the
disturbance of the moat island, the monument is also of high archaeological

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map and includes a boundary
of 1 metre beyond the archaeological feature on the eastern side considered
esential for the monument's preservation and support.

Source: Historic England


Copy on file, F G B (Haslemere Archaeological Society), (1977)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Surrey Antiquity 1511,

Source: Historic England

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