Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site and adjoining fishpond, Moat Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Iden, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9833 / 50°58'59"N

Longitude: 0.705 / 0°42'18"E

OS Eastings: 589966.435837

OS Northings: 123918.619362

OS Grid: TQ899239

Mapcode National: GBR QX8.C1K

Mapcode Global: FRA D6CJ.2HG

Entry Name: Medieval moated site and adjoining fishpond, Moat Farm

Scheduled Date: 26 July 1967

Last Amended: 25 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012916

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12737

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Iden

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Iden All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The moated site at Iden includes a central island with still surviving remains
of stone-built buildings, a wide wet moat with a causeway on the north-west
side, two extensions to the moat on the west side which form a partial outer
circuit and a rectangular fishpond on the south side. Moated sites are
usually 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and historical documents suggest that Sir Edmund de Passeley received
permission to provide a moat for the manor of La Mote around 1318. The outer
moat on the western side, where the entrance to the manor was located,
indicates that this site was particularly grand, and that at least some of the
buildings were of stone supports this suggestion.
The fishpond on the south side is also suitably large and would have provided
another source of prestige in the form of fresh fish for the table. Part of
the reason for the wealth of the manor may have been its trading links -- what
may be a wharf for landing cargoes lies alongside the modern approach road to
the site, outside the scheduled area.
All standing structures within the scheduled area, except those on the moat
island, are excluded from the scheduling, along with the road surfaces, all
fences and gates and the sluice gate at the north-east corner of the moat.
The ground beneath all of these structures, where they lie within the
scheduled area, remains covered by 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 Moat Farm survives to a large extent in an state of
preservation and displays a diversity of component parts. The monument is of
high archaeological potential, both the island because the uneven topography
indicates that foundations survive and the moat because it remains
waterlogged, providing good conditions for preservation. The fishpond also
survives well and forms an integral part of the moated site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Martin, D, Martin, B, 'The Rape of Hastings Architectural Survey' in Iden - Mote Place, ()
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
TQ 82 SE 1,

Source: Historic England

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