Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site at Leigh Place

A Scheduled Monument in Leigh, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.2117 / 51°12'41"N

Longitude: -0.248 / 0°14'52"W

OS Eastings: 522473.825668

OS Northings: 147285.357886

OS Grid: TQ224472

Mapcode National: GBR JJ4.XTM

Mapcode Global: VHGS8.NT80

Entry Name: Medieval moated site at Leigh Place

Scheduled Date: 3 April 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013040

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12762

County: Surrey

Civil Parish: Leigh

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Leigh St Bartholomew

Church of England Diocese: Southwark


The monument includes a medieval moated site comprising not only the water-
filled moat and the nearly-square island within the moat but also the
embanked area around the moat on all but the west and north-west sides. This
is the site of a medieval moated manor dating from at least 1281AD, which
was the prestigious residence of the Lords of the manor. Historical
documentation shows the manor to have taken the form of a number of
buildings arranged around a courtyard, the buildings occupying the majority
of the island.
In its present form the moat measures 6-7m in width and encloses an island
some 50m E-W by 40m N-S. It is brick-lined around the western half of its
circuit. The bank around the moat attains a maximum height of 1.5m and is at
most 17m across, but it diminishes on the north-east side to 0.4m high and
6m across. The bank is cut on the eastern side by an outlet leat which
appears to have replaced an earlier leat 2m to the north which is now
The present house, part of which dates from the 15th century but which has
been remodelled in the 17th-19th century, is listed grade II* and is
excluded from the scheduling. Also excluded are all upstanding structures
such as outbuildings, the bridges which provide access to the island, the
fence, steps and slipway around the moat, electricity poles, the service
pipelines and their immediately overlying soil and the paved paths. The
ground beneath each of these structures and beneath the house, however, is

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

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.

Leigh Place is one of the few examples in Surrey where the settlement of the
moated site has been continuous. The large area unoccupied by modern
buildings and currently under lawns means that the island is of particularly
high archaeological potential.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Malden, H E, The Victoria History of the County of Surrey: Volume III, (1911), 210-11
Watney, J, Surrey Arch. Collections, (1893), 141-84
Listed buildings greenback, (1896)

Source: Historic England

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