Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site west of Vachery Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Cranleigh, Surrey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1202 / 51°7'12"N

Longitude: -0.4752 / 0°28'30"W

OS Eastings: 506815.066708

OS Northings: 136761.53086

OS Grid: TQ068367

Mapcode National: GBR GGC.LPH

Mapcode Global: VHFW8.Q34L

Entry Name: Medieval moated site west of Vachery Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013038

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12760

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Cranleigh

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Cranleigh

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

Details

The monument west of Vachery Farm comprises a nearly-square broad
ditch with a causeway which leads onto a central island. The remains
are those of a moated site, a class of monument which is generally
seen as the prestigious residence of the Lord of the manor. The moat
marked the high status of the occupier but also served to deter casual
raiders and wild animals.
Most moated sites were constructed in the years to either side of
1300AD, and Vachery Manor House is known from historical records to
have existed in 1296. A scatter of medieval roofing tile in the
interior bears witness to the former existence of a grand house on the
site.
The moat is broad (up to 16m across), has been almost completely
filled by silt and decomposing vegetation and remains water-logged or
water-filled throughout the year. It is fed by a stream from the
south-east and drains along an artificial water course, probably of
later date than the moat, on the western side.
Access to the interior is gained, somewhat unusually, by a causeway
near the south-east corner of the monument -- bridge or causeway
entrances are more often found at the mid-point of one arm of the
moat. The interior is bordered by a slight bank on the inner edge of
the moat, which was probably originally surmounted by a palisade
fence. The main part of the moat island is wooded and the only feature
of particular note is a small brick-built emplacement of unclear
purpose on the western side. This more recent structure is excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath remains included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide
ditches, often, or seasonally, water-filled, which partly or
completely enclose one or more islands of dry ground on which stood
domestic or ecclesiastical buildings or which, in Some cases, 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. Moated
sites were built throughout the Medieval period, however, are widely
scattered across England and exhibit a high level of diversity in
their form and sizes.
They form a significant class of Medieval monument and play an
important part in the understanding of the distribution of wealth and
status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable
to the survival of normally-perishable organic remains.
The example near Vachery Farm is amongst the best surviving moated
sites in Surrey, having remained essentially undisturbed since the
decline of the manor house on this site. It consequently has high
potential for the recovery of archaeological evidence of the
organisation and development of the manor through the Middle Ages.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Surrey Antiquity 685,

Source: Historic England

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