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Moated site immediately west of Furnace Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Goudhurst, Kent

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Latitude: 51.0869 / 51°5'12"N

Longitude: 0.4813 / 0°28'52"E

OS Eastings: 573876.10042

OS Northings: 134884.63038

OS Grid: TQ738348

Mapcode National: GBR PT9.VXF

Mapcode Global: FRA C6W7.Z72

Entry Name: Moated site immediately west of Furnace Farm

Scheduled Date: 20 May 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020383

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34306

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Goudhurst

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent


The monument includes a medieval moated site situated 2km west of Hartley
village, within a stream valley which forms part of the High Weald in Kent.
The roughly east-west aligned moat survives in the form of earthworks and
associated buried remains. The rectangular central island measures
approximately 40m by 26m and is surrounded by a ditch, up to 14m wide and 1m
deep, flanked on its southern side by a low bank. The dry ditch, which was
once water-filled and is now seasonally waterlogged, has become partly
infilled over the years, although it survives as a prominent feature to the
north, south and west. The northern edge of the moat has been partly disturbed
by the subsequent construction of an access track and former barn, and the
eastern arm of the moat has been partly levelled by other activities,
including the construction of Furnace Farm house. Traces of the former
inlet channel, which originally fed the moat at its north eastern corner, are
visible on aerial photographs together with an outlet channel situated midway
along the southern arm, designed to return water to the adjacent stream.
Although no upstanding remains of former buildings have been identified,
traces of buildings are expected to survive as buried features beneath the
present ground surface of the central island.
A disused fence, which follows the edge of the central platform on its western
side, is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity
in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains
needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been
divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive
mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided
into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have
gradually evolved during the last 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the Eastern Weald sub-Province of the South-eastern
Province, bounded by the North and South Downs and comprising an oval
arrangement of inward facing escarpments of chalk and sandstone, separated by
clay vales, all ringing a higher sandstone ridge. Apart from concentrations of
nucleated settlements in the Vale of Holmsdale and around Canterbury, the sub-
Province is dominated by high and very high densities of dispersed
settlements, giving a countryside with farmsteads and associated enclosed
fields, of medieval foundation, intermixed with cottages, medieval moated
sites and hamlets bearing the names `green' or `dene'.

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 immediately west of Furnace Farm forms one of the group of
medieval moated sites which cluster in the clay vales of the region. Despite
some damage to its northern and eastern edge, the moat survives comparatively
well and exhibits little subsequent disturbance to its central island. The
monument will therefore contain archaeological and environmental evidence
relating to the original use and abandonment of the settlement.

Source: Historic England


OS/67074;223, (1967)
RAF, 106G/LA122;2006, (1945)
RAF, CPE/UK/1752;4238, (1946)

Source: Historic England

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