Moated site west of Avenue Wood, Felbridge
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1009904
Date first listed: 03-Jun-1992
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: West Sussex
District: Mid Sussex (District Authority)
Parish: East Grinstead
National Grid Reference: TQ 36140 39029
Reasons for Designation
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 west of Avenue Wood survives well and, due to the waterlogging of some of the moat, has potential for the recovery of organic remains and environmental evidence relating to the economy of the site and the landscape in which it existed.
The monument includes a moated site which survives as two contiguously
ditched, rectangular islands orientated WSW-ENE, overall dimensions being 90m
by 47m. The largest island, on the western side of the monument, has maximum
dimensions of 35m by 30m, the ditch around it being between c.12m and 15m wide
and water-filled. The second island measures c.20m by 15m, the north arm and
part of the east arm being dry. The ditch between the two islands, and around
the small island, is between c.10m and 12m wide. The moat was originally fed
by Felbridge Water which now runs to the north of the monument and would have
filled the moat from the north corner with an outlet in the east. The slight
extension of the moat at this point is due to erosion and re-cutting.
No indications of buildings survive above ground in the interior of either of
the islands, although a number of medieval/postmedieval tile fragments were
recovered from the mouth of a badger set on the smaller of the two islands.
These suggest that it may have been the smaller of the two islands which was
inhabited with the larger used for horticultural purposes. The course of a
Roman Road also crosses the most easterly corner of the moat. This road ran
from London through Croydon to Portslade and is one of eight main roads built
by the Romans leading into London. All fencing surrounding the monument is
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 20006
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Austin, L, Medieval/ post-medieval tile fragments, (1991)
Margary, I D, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in The London Croydon Portslade Roman Road, , Vol. 77, (1936)
Darvill, T, Monument Class Description - Moats (1988), 1988,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing