Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site north-east of Upper Common

A Scheduled Monument in Heyshott, West Sussex

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Latitude: 50.9549 / 50°57'17"N

Longitude: -0.7198 / 0°43'11"W

OS Eastings: 490016.434396

OS Northings: 118053.923331

OS Grid: SU900180

Mapcode National: GBR DFH.4TK

Mapcode Global: FRA 96CL.CDC

Entry Name: Medieval moated site north-east of Upper Common

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1953

Last Amended: 2 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013393

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12857

County: West Sussex

Civil Parish: Heyshott

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Sussex

Church of England Parish: Heyshott St James

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes the surrounding moat and internal area of a medieval
moated manor house site. The internal area, on which the manor house itself
would have stood along with ancillary buildings such as a kitchen and
storehouse, is square in plan and measures some 50m across. Its surface
undulates subtly, suggesting the presence of foundations and floors below
the soil.
The surrounding moat averages 6m in width except on the west side where it
has been partly infilled by garden landscaping and hence narrows to 2.5m
across. The general ground surface slopes gently to the north-east and the
moat has therefore been cut to a deeper level on the south and west sides to
enable water to be held in the moat. At its deepest point the present level
of the moat is some 2m below the level of the interior, and would have been
deeper before it silted up.
The fence in the moat on the south side is excluded from the scheduling.

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 Heyshott holds considerable archaeological potential
since both the moat and the interior have lain apparently undisturbed since
their abandonment.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T, Monument Class Description - Moats (1988), 1988,

Source: Historic England

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