Medieval manor house in Henley Wood, 330m south-west of Old Bull Cottage.
Reasons for Designation
Manorial centres were important foci of medieval rural life. They served as prestigious aristocratic or seigneurial residences, the importance of their owners and 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. Their buildings normally included a hall used as communal space for domestic and administrative purposes, private chambers, service and storage areas and kitchens (which were often housed in separate structures to reduce fire risk). The wider manorial complex may often have included stables, barns, stores, dovecots, fishponds, and enclosures for orchards and gardens. In many areas of the country the buildings were located within a moat, the latter being intended to further enhance the status of the site. Other manors were not moated, their status being indicated largely by the qualities of their buildings or their location in a prominent position. Continued use of sites has in many instances led to the destruction of medieval remains. Hence examples of medieval manorial centres which can be positively identified and shown to have extensive surviving archaeological remains are relatively rare.
The surviving below-ground masonry and substantial earthwork remains at Henley Wood are well preserved. The earthworks are likely to contain further archaeological and environmental information that increase understanding of the land-use and settlement history of the area.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17/10/14. This 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 earthworks and below ground remains. It is situated on north and west facing slopes near Chelsham. The earthworks comprise an outer and inner enclosure, both having a bank and ditch. The outer enclosure has been reduced on the east side but is well marked on the other three sides. A holloway or sunken trackway leads from the crossroads at Chelsham Common, 300m to the north, to the earthworks. The holloway enters the earthworks through what appears to be a deliberate entrance on the north side. Partial excavation was undertaken in 1912 and 1974. This revealed a range of finds including worked flint, Saxon pottery, late 12th to 14th pottery, medieval roofing tiles, an Iron chisel, knife blade and ox-shoe and a stone-lined well. A substantial medieval building with a central hearth, believed to date to between 1180 and 1320 was also uncovered. The manor house is likely to be the remains of the second Chelsham Court Manor recorded in the Doomsday Book.