Ancient Monuments

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Medieval moated site at Share Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Horsmonden, Kent

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Latitude: 51.127 / 51°7'37"N

Longitude: 0.4504 / 0°27'1"E

OS Eastings: 571563.281805

OS Northings: 139269.466926

OS Grid: TQ715392

Mapcode National: GBR PSW.6P8

Mapcode Global: VHJMY.RXGX

Entry Name: Medieval moated site at Share Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 August 1951

Last Amended: 18 September 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017546

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12712

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Horsmonden

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Horsmonden St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Rochester


On flat ground to the east of Share Farm is a square double-moated
enclosure with further natural barriers in the form of watercourses
on both east and west sides. The moats are now almost dry, but would
originally have formed wide slow-moving water courses. The monument
includes the entire area between the outer water courses.
Moated sites are generally seen as prestigious residences of the Lords
of the Manor. The moat marked the high status of the occupier of the
site, but also served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most
moats were constructed between 1250 and 1350, and it is to this period
that the example at Share Farm is likely to date.
The position of bridges which provided access onto the moat island is
indicated by embankments at the mid-point of the western moat arms.
The water in the inner and outer moats appears to have been kept
separate, perhaps so that the outer moat could act as a fishpond
without risk of contamination from the rubbish and sewage which was
probably thrown into the inner moat. With a relatively small central
island on which to build, it is considered likely that the area to the
north of the artificial moats was also used for stables and other
purposes. For these buildings the water channels on both sides and
formerly to the south as well would have acted as a natural moat.

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 Share Farm is a particularly informative example.
It is in an excellent state of preservation, with many of the slight
earthworks which illustrate the manner of water management at the site
still visible, and hence displays a considerable diversity of
individual components. The archaeological potential of the site is
great, since the continued waterlogging of the moat provides excellent
conditions for the preservation of normally perishable artefacts, and
also of evidence from seeds and pollen of the environment and economy
of the site while it was in use.

Source: Historic England


Chant, K, AM107, (1983)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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