Ancient Monuments

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Woking Palace moated site, fishponds and ruins at Oldhall Copse

A Scheduled Monument in Hoe Valley, Surrey

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Latitude: 51.3035 / 51°18'12"N

Longitude: -0.525 / 0°31'29"W

OS Eastings: 502920.32087

OS Northings: 157075.355713

OS Grid: TQ029570

Mapcode National: GBR GD5.63D

Mapcode Global: VHFV8.VHBL

Entry Name: Woking Palace moated site, fishponds and ruins at Oldhall Copse

Scheduled Date: 11 March 1953

Last Amended: 7 September 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019366

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12752

County: Surrey

Electoral Ward/Division: Hoe Valley

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Woking St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Guildford


The moated site at Woking Palace includes the earthworks of the moat and its
surviving inner bank, the area within the moat which contains ruined and
standing buildings and, within the copse on the north west side, a group of
fishponds. This unusually large moated site was a royal residence dating from
at least 1272 which was used by Edward IV and Henry VIII.

The monument features at its centre a stone building with a 14th century
doorway and a brick barrel vault with some original stone ribs. The ruins of a
brick-built barn of 16th century date adjoin this stone building, while to the
east are the brick and stone foundations of further buildings, some or all of
which belong to the medieval or early post-medieval manor.

Around the perimeter, except to the south, is a moat which is seasonally
water-filled. The southern limit itself is formed by the River Wey, an area of
which contains a submerged timber structure believed to be a contemporary
wharf. This was discovered and recorded in the northern half of the river at
the east end of the monument in 1996. On the western side of the monument the
moat is bounded by a slight outer bank and a substantial inner bank which in
turn has an inner narrower moat. It was from this inner moat that water was
directed into the two parallel rectangular fishponds, thence to a third and
now partly infilled pond and finally into an internal projection of the moat
which led northwards from the centre of the monument to the main moat circuit.
The causeway entrance at the mid-point of the eastern moat arm is likely to
have been the original access point.

All fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 03/10/2012

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.

Woking Palace is of particular importance because of its excellent survival,
high diversity, enormous archaeological potential both on the island itself
and in the waterlogged moats and particularly because of its historical
association with royalty and the amenity value which it is afforded by this

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Kettering L, AM 107, (1979)
Surrey Antiquity 463,
Surrey Antiquity No. 463,

Source: Historic England

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