Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site, Brambletye Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Forest Row, East Sussex

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Latitude: 51.0998 / 51°5'59"N

Longitude: 0.0203 / 0°1'13"E

OS Eastings: 541554.590722

OS Northings: 135334.097081

OS Grid: TQ415353

Mapcode National: GBR KM5.ZYJ

Mapcode Global: FRA B6X6.ZP5

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, Brambletye Manor

Scheduled Date: 24 September 1954

Last Amended: 26 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013150

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12734

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Forest Row

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Forest Row

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The moated site at Bramletye is an excellently-preserved example comprising
two concentric moats around a stone-revetted moat island. On the west side is
an original entrance causeway as well as a probably more recent causeway
leading to the field entrance at the north-west corner.
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 constructed between
1250 and 1350, and it is to this period that the example at Brambletye is
likely to date.
The interior of the moated site contains much dressed stone which signifies
the former presence of an expensive and grand house. The foundations of the
house can be traced on the southern and eastern sides. The site of the moated
house was abandoned in 1631 when the nearby Brambletye House was built,
although a print dated 1809 depicts the still-standing house on the moated
On the north side of the moated site, mostly outside the scheduled area, is a
leat which was built after the moated site to supply water to the mill to the
south-east of the monument. The builders of the leat used the outer bank of
the moated site to retain the water for part of the leat's length, however,
and therefore on the northern side of the moated site the leat bank lies
within the constraint area.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 moated site at Brambletye survives to a large extent intact and displays a
number of component parts. The monument is of high archaeological potential,
since the island area remains undisturbed and the moats waterlogged, and is
associated with the nearby remains of Brambletye House which succeeded the
moated manor as the principal residence of the Compton family.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
TQ 43 NW 6,

Source: Historic England

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