Medieval moated site in West Grinstead Park


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011777

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Sep-1991


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site in West Grinstead Park
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Horsham (District Authority)

Parish: West Grinstead

National Grid Reference: TQ 17129 21713


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 example in West Grinstead Park is one of a number of moated sites which were used as temporary residences during deer hunting trips. As such it illustrates the variety of uses to which such monuments were put in the South-East. The undisturbed nature of the interior indicates that the monument holds considerable potential for the recovery of evidence of the form of the buildings in addition to the potential for the preservation of normally-perishable remains such as food refuse and leather clothing in the waterlogged moat.


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


The monument includes the moat and internal area of the site of a moated house which served as a hunting lodge for West Grinstead Park from A.D.1326. The moat forms an approximate square, measuring a maximum of 55m east/west by 48m north/south. It was fed by a small stream which has since been diverted. The moat survives with an average width of 10m but its original depth is unknown owing to infilling by silt. The moat island measures some 30m square, and on this area would have stood the lodge together with other buildings such as stables. The island was reached by a timber bridge, but no evidence of its position survives on the surface.

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: 12862

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
SMR County Monument No. 3600,

End of official listing