Site of medieval manor house, 50m west of St Edward’s Roman Catholic Church, Sutton Park.
Reasons for Designation
Manorial centres were important foci of medieval rural life. They served as prestigious aristocratic or seigniorial residences, the importance of their inhabitants being reflected in the quality and elaboration of their buildings. Local agricultural and village life was normally closely regulated by the Lord of the manor, and hence the inhabitants of these sites had a controlling interest in many aspects of medieval life. Manorial sites could take on many forms. In many areas of the country the buildings were located within a moat, the latter being intended to further impress the status of the site on the wider population. Other manors were not moated their status being indicated largely by the quality of their buildings. This latter group of manorial centres are the most difficult to identify today because the sites were not enclosed by major earthwork features, such as a moat, which may survive well, and the original buildings often exhibited a fairly unplanned layout which could extend over a large area. Continued use of the site has also in many instances led to destruction of medieval remains. Hence examples of medieval manorial centres of this type which can be positively identified and demonstrated to have extensive surviving archaeological remains are relatively rare.
The site of Sutton manor has been shown by archaeological investigation to contain upstanding stone remains, in the form of the well, and below-ground archaeological remains related to the construction and original use of the site. Alongside documentary evidence, they provide a rare insight into an important manorial centre that would have had a considerable influence on the surrounding area in the medieval period.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 27 November 2014. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a medieval manor house surviving as upstanding and buried remains. It is situated at the summit of a slope on the west side of a valley centred on the River Wey Navigation. The remains of the manor house largely consist of buried foundations but also include a stone-lined well, upstanding in the north-west corner of the church graveyard. Scatters of broken roof tile have been observed on the ground surface. The buried remains extend into a field to the west of the church, known as ‘Manor Field’ approximately quarter of a mile from Sutton Place. These have been disturbed in the past by ploughing. The site has been identified through partial excavation between 1978 and 1983, as well as documentary sources, as the old manor house of Sutton. These excavations uncovered the rubble, clay and brick foundations of several buildings. These include a brick-built structure measuring about 3m by 4m, the east and south walls of one building and the corner of another. A medieval ditch system was also identified, which is believed to be the enclosure surrounding the manor site with an entrance on one side. The finds included an 11th century rim sherd, roof tiles, a double-handed cup fragment, a Halfpenny and two farthings of Charles II. The manor house is believed to date to the 12th or 13th century. According to documentary sources, the manorial seat of Sutton was held together with Woking for nearly 200 years before the reign of Henry VIII. As a result the old manor house of Sutton was neglected, fell into decay and is recorded as a ruin by 1329. Henry VIII granted Sutton to Sir Richard Weston in 1521 who thereafter held seat at his house in Sutton Place.