Moated site in Orchard Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010498

Date first listed: 04-Jun-1992


Ordnance survey map of Moated site in Orchard Wood
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010498 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 05:58:47.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Mid Sussex (District Authority)

Parish: West Hoathly

National Grid Reference: TQ 36618 28995


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 in Orchard Wood survives well, the waterlogging of some areas of the moat providing ideal conditions for the survival of organic remains and environmental evidence relating both to the economy of the site and the landscape in which it was constructed.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a rectangular moated site comprising an island 55m east-west by 35m north-south surrounded by a partly water-filled moat. On the island there is evidence of earthworks with an area in the south-east corner of the island, c.0.5m higher than the rest of the interior, possibly representing a house platform. The moat was stream-fed, with an inlet in the north-west corner and an outlet in the south-east. The north arm is still visible but has been silted and eroded by the stream which now leaves the moat in the north-east corner. The west arm of the moat remains water-filled and is c.60m long and 15m wide, while the south and east arms, c.70m and 60m long respectively, both with a width of 12m, are now dry. The north-west corner of the moat is the site of the original causeway which provided access to the island. The land on which the moated site was constructed slopes to the east and the site for the monument was therefore levelled. To the west the site is dug into the slope and beyond the ditch the ground surface has been levelled for a further 11m to a point 2m below the surrounding ground surface. To the east there is an outer retaining bank which is 7m wide and stands to a height of 4m. This bank continues around the north-east and south-east corners of the ditch and was designed to retain the water in the moat as it is above the level of the ground further west. Field names on a 19th century map show `Moat Orchard' as a plot within Orchard Wood, indicating that the island was used as an orchard. The fencing surrounding the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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: 20012

Legacy System: RSM


Title: Tithe Map (West Hoathly) Source Date: 1841 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing