Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site and fishpond, Greatlee Wood, Effingham Junction

A Scheduled Monument in Effingham, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.2822 / 51°16'55"N

Longitude: -0.4131 / 0°24'47"W

OS Eastings: 510773.915671

OS Northings: 154865.062312

OS Grid: TQ107548

Mapcode National: GBR GDH.JCW

Mapcode Global: VHFVJ.S1HF

Entry Name: Medieval moated site and fishpond, Greatlee Wood, Effingham Junction

Scheduled Date: 11 October 1954

Last Amended: 2 May 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013011

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12753

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Effingham

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Effingham

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The monument in Greatlee Wood includes both the moat, with its
associated embankments and drainage channel, and the area within the
moat which features a narrow oval fishpond.
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
date to the period either side of 1300 AD, and pottery recovered
during small-scale excavations at the site of the monument in 1952-3
concurs with such a date range. The excavators suggested that the site
was that of the manor house of Effingham-la-Leigh.
The form of the monument is unusual, with two straight sides at
right-angles and of sizeable proportions (80m long by 9-12m wide),
with a curved, narrower moat closing the circuit. The inner edge of
the moat is strengthened by an earthen bank. On the south-eastern side
where the moat is at its widest, a strong outer bank exists. This bank
continues north-eastwards, bordering the drainage channel for the moat
which extends for some 70m nearly to the edge of the plantation. There
is a causeway entrance towards the centre of the south-western arm of
the moat. Within the moated area are a number of hollows left over
from the excavations but a deeper and oval-shaped depression on the
south-east side is considered to be the remains of a fishpond or
similar internal water-filled feature. A breach in the inner bank was
made to allow water to fill this feature.

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 or, in some cases, which were used for
horticulture. 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
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 in Greatlee Wood is one such example where the moat
remains waterlogged and the potential for the recovery of evidence of
the environment and economy of the manor is considerable. Remains of
the buildings of the interior have been demonstrated by small-scale
excavation to have survived in the soil and the publication of the
results of the excavation means that the monument is well documented.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Excav Report,

Source: Historic England

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