Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site, Warren Farm, Shepherd's Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Hadlow Down, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9821 / 50°58'55"N

Longitude: 0.1623 / 0°9'44"E

OS Eastings: 551875.668017

OS Northings: 122524.502739

OS Grid: TQ518225

Mapcode National: GBR LQ7.CV3

Mapcode Global: FRA C67J.11Q

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, Warren Farm, Shepherd's Hill

Scheduled Date: 22 January 1968

Last Amended: 18 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012913

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12741

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Hadlow Down

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Buxted and Hadlow Down

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The moated site at Warren Farm includes a slightly irregularly-shaped moat of
exceptional depth in parts and a nearly-square island 52m by 55m in size which
is defined by the moat.
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 Warren Farm is
likely to date.
The moat was fed by springs, which have ensured its continued wetness to the
present day, and drained westwards through an outlet leat. Erosion and
recutting in the area of the leat at the southern corner has given rise to an
exaggeratedly abrupt angle here, while soil movement at the northern corner
has impinged on the moat to give it a curved appearance. The two eastern
sides have been cut very deeply into the hillslope in order to maintain a
level with the lowest south-west side.
No indications of buildings survive above ground in the interior of the
island, nor are there signs of the original access route to the island -- the
present causeway to the north is a result of erosion rather than an original
The fencing which surrounds the monument is excluded from the scheduling.

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 Warren Farm survives essentially undamaged and is therefore
of high archaeological potential. The waterlogged moat provides ideal
conditions for the survival of organic remains while the interior is
considered likely to hold evidence of the organisation and development of the
buildings of the manor.

Source: Historic England


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

Source: Historic England

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