Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site and Tudor ruins, Laughton Place

A Scheduled Monument in Laughton, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.8832 / 50°52'59"N

Longitude: 0.107 / 0°6'25"E

OS Eastings: 548314.319841

OS Northings: 111414.495475

OS Grid: TQ483114

Mapcode National: GBR LRB.HW7

Mapcode Global: FRA C63R.X33

Entry Name: Medieval moated site and Tudor ruins, Laughton Place

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 14 August 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013266

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12746

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Laughton

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Laughton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a medieval moat and its island area and the
remains of the principal mansion of the Pelham family dating to 1534.
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
moat at Laughton Place is likely to date, although it was modified in
the 16th century.
The moat was deepened and flooded in 1984, at which time excavations
showed that in the mid- 16th century the moat island was encircled by
a brick wall with 8 interval turrets of octagonal or semi-octagonal
form. Three bridges provided access to the island. Of the once grand
buildings in the interior dating to this period only the brick tower
survives. This is excluded from the scheduling because it is listed
(Grade I), although the ground beneath it remains included.
The tower was incorporated in the 18th century into a farmhouse, at
which time other farm buildings were constructed. These farm buildings
have now been removed. The length of walling to the west of the tower
is included in the scheduling, as is the retaining wall to the moat,
both being of 16th century date, whilst the wall to the south of the
tower and the modern access bridge and gates to the south-east, the
modern path to the tower and the iron fencing defining the garden to
the tower are excluded, although the ground beneath these features is

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 moat and its island are of high archaeological potential, since
they hold evidence of a continuous sequence of occupation from the
13th-20th centuries.
The remains of the Tudor building provide a rare example of continuity
of building on the same site. At the same time they have great
potential for adding to our understanding of the form of a manorial
complex of this period since they were short-lived as the principal

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Gardiner, M, 'Sussex Archaeological Society' in Sussex Archaeological Society Newsletter, , Vol. 45, (1985), 413
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Listed Buildings Vol ?,
TQ51 SE4,

Source: Historic England

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