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Medieval moated site, Great Barnett's

A Scheduled Monument in Leigh, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.1972 / 51°11'50"N

Longitude: 0.225 / 0°13'30"E

OS Eastings: 555556.532237

OS Northings: 146578.023188

OS Grid: TQ555465

Mapcode National: GBR MNY.X9L

Mapcode Global: VHHQ5.V59J

Entry Name: Medieval moated site, Great Barnett's

Scheduled Date: 15 November 1973

Last Amended: 18 July 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013169

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12714

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Leigh

Built-Up Area: Leigh

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Leigh

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

Details

Although superficially altered in recent times, the site retains much
of its original and slightly unusual form. A rectangular island 60m by
30m is defined by a moat of varying width with protrusions at the SW
and NE corners which may have been fishpools. The moat is broadest at
the southern arm, the likely position of the original entrance
causeway or bridge.
Excavation of about one-third of the moat island from 1966-9 revealed
that a hall-house had stood at the north end of the site opposite the
entrance, and that a second house had stood on the eastern side. Both
buildings date to the late 13th/ early 14th century, from which date
the local name of "Bernette" used by the nearby buildings (Great
Barnett's), meaning "a place cleared by burning", can be traced too.
Moated sites 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, and would
have provided a supply of fresh fish for the table. Excluded from the
scheduling are the areas of modern alteration on the south-west margin
of the moat and the bridges across the moat and their supports.

MAP EXTRACT
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 particular importance of the moated site at Great Barnett's lies
in its unusual form. Additionally, archaeological investigation has
revealed much information about the original organisation of the
central island and about the buildings located there. Since two-thirds
of the island remains unexcavated and undisturbed, the site retains
considerable potential for the recovery of further archaeological
information.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Parfitt, J H, 'Archaeologia Cantiana' in A moated site at Moat Farm, Leigh, Kent, , Vol. 92, (1976), 173-201
Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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