Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site and post-Medieval ice-house, Moat Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Pantiles and St Mark's, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1147 / 51°6'52"N

Longitude: 0.2568 / 0°15'24"E

OS Eastings: 558057.776438

OS Northings: 137461.390477

OS Grid: TQ580374

Mapcode National: GBR MQ4.5Q6

Mapcode Global: VHHQL.D7LV

Entry Name: Medieval moated site and post-Medieval ice-house, Moat Farm

Scheduled Date: 21 April 1977

Last Amended: 16 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013061

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12715

County: Kent

Electoral Ward/Division: Pantiles and St Mark's

Built-Up Area: Royal Tunbridge Wells

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Tunbridge Wells St Mark (Broadwater Down)

Church of England Diocese: Rochester


A nearly square, wide but shallow moat defines a small island about 40m square
at this site. Within the area of the moat island is a post-Medieval ice
Moated sites are usually seen as prestigious residences of the Lords of the
Manor. The moat not only marked the high status of the occupier but also
served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moats were constructed
between 1250 and 1350, and it is to this period that the example at Moat Farm
is likely to date.
Part of the moat island has been modified into a small, almost circular grove
or grotto, with exotic tree species and rhododendrons around a central clear
area. An ice-house of a type popular between 1840-50, used to store ice for
the refrigeration of food, is integral to the design of the grove, since its
domed earthen roof was used as an ornamental garden feature. The presence of
the ice-house indicates a mid-19th century date for the conversion of the site
into a garden feature.
The modern bench within the grotto is excluded from the scheduling.

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.

The Moat Farm site is of particular importance because it is sited on high
ground and is spring-fed, rather then being sited in a valley as are most such
sites. The moat is well preserved and remains wet throughout the year so that
the potential for the recovery of perishable artefacts and of economic and
environmental evidence from these waterlogged deposits is high. The island
has been modified but features a well preserved ice-house as an example of re-
use of the site at a much later date.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Wood, E S, Collins Field Guide to Archaeology, (1963)
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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