Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site and adjacent hythe, Lowden Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Rolvenden, Kent

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Latitude: 51.0347 / 51°2'4"N

Longitude: 0.6435 / 0°38'36"E

OS Eastings: 585444.526613

OS Northings: 129472.305201

OS Grid: TQ854294

Mapcode National: GBR QWM.1JS

Mapcode Global: FRA D67C.VZV

Entry Name: Medieval moated site and adjacent hythe, Lowden Farm

Scheduled Date: 13 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013079

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12736

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Rolvenden

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The moated site at Lowden comprises a regular square moat and island together
with an adjoining fishpond, a nearby building platform surviving as an
earthwork and a small rectangular harbour or hythe. The latter feature
signifies the closeness of the moated site when it was built to the navigable
waters of the Rother levels.
Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of
the Manor. The moat marked the high status of the occupier, but also served
to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moats were built between 1250
and 1350, and it is to this period that the example at Lowden is likely to
Fishponds, as visible on the north side of the moated site, were similarly
prestigious features, providing fresh fish for the table. The manor house on
the moat island was at the centre of a group of manorial buildings, one of
which probably occupied the terraced platform north of the fishpond. The
moated manor was built on the contemporary shoreline and was equipped with its
own hythe for water-borne trade. The rectangular embayment for mooring and
loading ships is still visible on the east side of the moated site. As the
water level receded, a canal was constructed to maintain the link between the
hythe and the sea.

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 example at Lowden is of particular importance not only because the moat
and fishpond survive very well and show a wide diversity of component parts,
but also because they are associated with a variety of other types of
contemporary earthworks. The different types of earthworks have great
archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence of the organisation and
development of the manor, for illustrating the responses of the occupants of
the manor to the changes in water levels on the marsh and for demonstrating
the extent of trading links with France over the lifetime of the monument.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
TQ 82 NE 2,

Source: Historic England

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