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Medieval moated site and associated fishpond, Franks Hall.

A Scheduled Monument in Horton Kirby and South Darenth, Kent

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3874 / 51°23'14"N

Longitude: 0.2347 / 0°14'5"E

OS Eastings: 555591.706063

OS Northings: 167741.819385

OS Grid: TQ555677

Mapcode National: GBR VM.9V5

Mapcode Global: VHHP7.0DY8

Entry Name: Medieval moated site and associated fishpond, Franks Hall.

Scheduled Date: 22 May 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017537

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12726

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Horton Kirby and South Darenth

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Horton Kirby St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Rochester

Details

The moated site at Franks Hall comprises the well-preserved earthworks
of part of the original manor site of Franks Hall, together with a
separate but associated fishpond. The north-western of the original
four sides has been lost to an artificial watercourse created after
1870.
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. Most moats
were constructed between 1280 and 1350, but historical records suggest
that the site at Franks Hall is an early example, having been
constructed during the reign of Henry III around 1220.
The single fishpond, 20m to the south of the moat, survives as
earthworks describing a sub-rectangular area within which a low bank
provides a separation between an inner pond for the fish and an outer
ditch, possibly for water regulation purposes. Breaks in the
earthworks at both shorter ends suggest the entry and exit points for
water. The moated site and the fishpond are scheduled as two separate
areas.

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 moated site at Franks Hall is of particular importance because the
preservation of the earthworks is good allowing the original form to
be appreciated. The historical documentation of the site is also good,
with a date for construction and a history of ownership having been
identified. The fishpond is important for its archaeological
potential, the earthworks sealing the old ground surface and its
evidence of the previous use of the land. The association of the
fishpond both with the contemporary moated site and the subsequent
Elizabethan Franks Hall adds further to the historical value of the
site.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Welcome to Franks Chapter 1 The first 750 years, (1983), 4
Other
Source 2b, MS notes written 1857, (1857)

Source: Historic England

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