Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site, Lovehurst Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Staplehurst, Kent

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Latitude: 51.1438 / 51°8'37"N

Longitude: 0.5409 / 0°32'27"E

OS Eastings: 577832.534454

OS Northings: 141352.188171

OS Grid: TQ778413

Mapcode National: GBR PSS.CKP

Mapcode Global: VHJN0.BJB0

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, Lovehurst Manor

Scheduled Date: 13 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013122

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12720

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Staplehurst

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The moated site at Lovehurst comprises a sub-circular moat 8-10m wide which is
held back on the south side by an external bank and which encloses an island
ca.45m in diameter. On the west side a stream enters the moat via a
rectangular extension to the moat which was probably a former fishpond. An
18th century house with a 17th century timber-framed core occupies the centre
of the moat island but is excluded from the scheduling (listed Grade II).
Moats are generally 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 moated sites were constructed
between 1250 and 1350, and it is to this period that the moat at Lovehurst is
likely to date although an earlier date is also possible. No evidence of the
original buildings presumed to have occupied the site survive above ground.
In addition to the house on the island, part of the moat island is now
occupied by a twin oast and drying floor, but the oasts and any other
upstanding structures within the scheduled area are excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath these structures is included.

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.

Lovehurst moated site is of particular importance because the moat survives to
a greater extent than most examples, therefore exhibiting considerable
diversity of features including a section of outer retaining bank and a well-
defined integral fishpond. The moat, although partially scoured, remains of
high archaeological potential because it has remained water-filled throughout
its history and therefore provides excellent conditions for the survival of
perishable artefacts and of evidence of the economy and environment of the
manor during its lifetime.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Listed Buildings Vol 1415 3/150,

Source: Historic England

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