Ancient Monuments

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Old Boarzell moated site 100m north east of Swiftsden Farm, Little Swiftsden

A Scheduled Monument in Hurst Green, East Sussex

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Latitude: 51.0302 / 51°1'48"N

Longitude: 0.4468 / 0°26'48"E

OS Eastings: 571671.927915

OS Northings: 128499.448269

OS Grid: TQ716284

Mapcode National: GBR NSP.CRV

Mapcode Global: FRA C6TD.9X7

Entry Name: Old Boarzell moated site 100m north east of Swiftsden Farm, Little Swiftsden

Scheduled Date: 31 January 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015240

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29247

County: East Sussex

Civil Parish: Hurst Green

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Flimwell St Augustine of Canterbury

Church of England Diocese: Chichester


The monument includes a medieval moated site situated in a shallow clay valley
which forms part of the Sussex Weald. It now has the appearance of a slightly
raised platform covering an area of around 0.25ha. However part excavation and
a comprehensive survey of the monument and the historical and cartographic
sources which relate to it have shown that it orignally took the form of a
roughly north-south aligned, rectangular artificial island surrounded by a
water-filled ditch. The analysis of pottery sherds found during the excavation
suggests that it was constructed during the late-13th or early-14th centuries
and subsequently underwent at least one phase of major redevelopment.
Buildings on the island included a large, jettied domestic range constructed
around a courtyard in the south eastern corner, and, during the 17th and 18th
centuries, an associated brewhouse. During the post-medieval period the main
access to the island was provided by a stone-built bridge which spanned the
northern arm of the moat, with subsidiary access via a smaller bridge across
the southern ditch. The island was bounded by a defensive curtain wall.
Records suggest that the buildings were demolished and the moat infilled in
The modern fence which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath it is included.

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.

Old Boarzell moat lies within the Eastern Wealds, forming one of a group of
medieval moated sites which cluster in the clay vales of the region. The moat
survives comparatively well, despite infilling and some modern disturbance,
and part excavation and survey has shown that it contains building
foundations, buried archaeological remains and waterlogged deposits relating
to the construction, development and use of the monument over at least seven

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Martin, D, Martin, B, An Architectural Survey of Great Boarzell, Ticehurst, Sussex, (1984)

Source: Historic England

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