Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site, Cooden

A Scheduled Monument in St Marks, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8395 / 50°50'22"N

Longitude: 0.4251 / 0°25'30"E

OS Eastings: 570844.330735

OS Northings: 107240.817063

OS Grid: TQ708072

Mapcode National: GBR NW0.699

Mapcode Global: FRA C6SW.7FS

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, Cooden

Scheduled Date: 6 August 1975

Last Amended: 23 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012918

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12733

County: East Sussex

Electoral Ward/Division: St Marks

Built-Up Area: Bexhill

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Bexhill St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The moated site at Cooden includes a nearly square moat with arms 50-60m long
and 12-14m wide which surrounds an island 30m square. Also included is a low
earthen causeway at the centre of the north-eastern arm of the moat which
provided access to the moat island.
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 in the
period to either side of 1300 AD, and it is to this period that the example at
Cooden is likely to date.
Historical records suggest that the moated site was the manor of the de
Codyinge family, of local prominence in the 13th and 14th centuries. A house
stood on the moat island until the 19th century, but it is not known whether
this was an original or later structure. An expansion of the moat at the
north-west corner is interpreted as a small fishpond, located on the upstream
side as is typical. The fishpond would have provided fresh fish for the
table, and would have been separated from the moat proper by sluice gates.
A number of hexagonal concrete block tank-traps of Second World War vintage
have been strewn in and around the moat. These are excluded from the

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 Cooden is of importance because it survives well and
consequently is of high archaeological potential. The island is considered
likely to contain evidence of the organisation and development of the
buildings of the manor site, while the waterlogged moat is likely to contain
evidence of the climate and economy of the manor in addition to normally
perishable artefacts.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
TQ 70 NW 2,

Source: Historic England

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