Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Medieval moated site and associated pillow mound, Wildwood Copse

A Scheduled Monument in Alfold, Surrey

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 51.1073 / 51°6'26"N

Longitude: -0.501 / 0°30'3"W

OS Eastings: 505040.043489

OS Northings: 135287.853117

OS Grid: TQ050352

Mapcode National: GBR GGJ.D65

Mapcode Global: VHFW8.8FJJ

Entry Name: Medieval moated site and associated pillow mound, Wildwood Copse

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013034

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12759

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Alfold

Built-Up Area: Alfold Crossways

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Alfold and Loxwood

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The moated site in Wildwood Copse includes a nearly-square moat with an outer
bank on the north, east and west sides and an inner bank on the south and east
sides. Within the moated area is a distinct mound which may represent the
remains of a building, while at the north-east corner lies a pillow mound
formerly used for breeding rabbits.
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 in
Wildwood Copse is likely to date.
The inner and outer banks may originally have been continuous but survive only
partially today. The outer bank is particularly evident on the north-east
side where it appears to have been enlarged to form a pillow mound in which
rabbits were reared for food. Inside the moated area a hollow on the southern
side may indicate the location of a small fishpond, while a mound 18m long
which rises about 1m above the surrounding land probably marks the site of the
manor house since roofing tile and brick is visible on the surface here. The
stream which supplied the moat now flows through the re-cut southern moat arm
but leaves much of the original moat undisturbed.
The stream itself is excluded from the scheduling, but the moat beneath it is
included. All fencing within the scheduled area is also 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 example in Wildwood Copse exhibits good earthwork survival and a range of
visible features, such as the inner and outer banks and the remains of the
building. Unusually, the moated site is associated with a pillow mound. The
continued waterlogging of the moat suggests that a variety of environmental
evidence is likely to survive.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T C, MPP Single Monument Class Description - Warrens, (1988)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Surrey Antiquity 691,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.