Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site, Devils Den.

A Scheduled Monument in Edenbridge, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.188 / 51°11'16"N

Longitude: 0.0565 / 0°3'23"E

OS Eastings: 543814.364601

OS Northings: 145208.346556

OS Grid: TQ438452

Mapcode National: GBR LML.H3N

Mapcode Global: VHHQ2.XDRM

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, Devils Den.

Scheduled Date: 11 March 1953

Last Amended: 16 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013166

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12713

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Edenbridge

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Edenbridge St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

Details

The site known as `Devil's Den' comprises a moat averaging 7-8m in
width which encloses a square island some 40m across.
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 since the example at
Devil's Den is thought to have been held by Gilbert de Clare, Earl of
Gloucester, who died in 1295, such a date appears appropriate.
There is at present no visible evidence of the position of the
entrance causeway or bridge across the moat which gave access to the
island-- the existing causeway at the south-west corner is a
relatively recent addition--nor of buildings in the interior, although
heavy scrub growth makes such evidence difficult to detect. The site
appears to have remained undisturbed, however, for many years and such
evidence is considered likely to survive at the monument.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Devil's Den is one such example which has high potential for the
survival both of perishable artefacts and evidence of the climate and
economy during the use of the site because of the waterlogged
conditions of the moat and of remains of the buildings considered
likely to have stood on the island. Since it is also documented as
having been held by Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester (d. 1295),
who was a notable figure during the reign of Edward I, the site is of
especial historical importance.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Somers-Cocks, HL, Edenbridge, (1912), 37
Dell, A, Lake, N, Couldrey, P, 'Kent Arch Review' in A Homestead Moat at Devil's Den, Edenbridge, , Vol. 41, (1975), 20-1
Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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