Ancient Monuments

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Moat and associated closes at Marshall's Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Dymchurch, Kent

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Latitude: 51.03 / 51°1'48"N

Longitude: 0.9809 / 0°58'51"E

OS Eastings: 609118.401911

OS Northings: 129859.377051

OS Grid: TR091298

Mapcode National: GBR SZQ.8V3

Mapcode Global: FRA D6YD.7ZH

Entry Name: Moat and associated closes at Marshall's Bridge

Scheduled Date: 3 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017659

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29254

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Dymchurch

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The monument includes a medieval moat and an area of associated small fields,
or closes, situated on low-lying, artificially drained land which forms part
of Romney Marsh, c.1.2km north west of the channel coast at Dymchurch. The
moat lies within the northern part of the monument and has a roughly square,
north-south aligned island measuring c.50m by c.55m. Fragments of roof tiles,
masonry rubble and sherds of pottery dating to the 14th century found on the
eastern side of the island indicate the presence of a medieval building, now
surviving in the form of buried foundations. A roughly circular hollow on the
western side of the island may represent a contemporary pond. The island is
surrounded by a now mainly dry ditch up to c.12m wide and c.1m deep. The
northern arm of the ditch forms part of a major drainage channel known as
Marshland Sewer. This has been the subject of regular modern dredging which
will have destroyed all medieval remains, and is therefore not included in the
scheduling. The profile of the northern edge of the moated island has been
partly obscured by an artificial bank formed by regular dumping of the dredged
The associated closes lie to the west and south of the moat and take the form
of a least three irregular fields enclosed by shallow, now dry ditches.
Historical sources suggest that the moat was strategically placed to allow
control of the drainage and water supply system of the area, and lay on the
intersection of three former parishes.
Marshland's Bridge, the modern gateposts, fence and wooden tracking situated
on the northern edge of the monument are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath these features is included.

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 moat and associated closes at Marshall's Bridge survive well in the form
of earthworks and buried remains and will contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument.
The monument forms part of a small group of well preserved moats on Romney
Marsh, an area in which moats cluster, but where many have been substantially
damaged or destroyed by modern agricultural operations.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Reeves, A, Marshall's Bridge, Dymchurch, (1995)
Reeves, A, Marshall's Bridge, Dymchurch, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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