Moated site and associated earthworks north west of West Wolves Farm, Ashington.


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and associated earthworks north west of West Wolves Farm, Ashington.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Sussex
Horsham (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 12361 17425

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 north-west of West Wolves Farm survives well and exhibits a range of associated features including the pond bays and ridge and furrow cultivation.


The monument is situated on low-lying ground adjacent to the water meadows of a tributary of the Lancing Brook and includes an oval moated site oriented east-west with two associated pond bays, a causeway running from the island north between the ponds and an adjacent field containing earthwork remains of ridge and furrow cultivation. The island measures 85m east-west by 50m north-south and has an inner bank to the north, east and south which survives to c.10m wide and up to 0.7m above the island's around surface. To the west there is a second inner bank which disappears into an area of disturbance in the south-western corner of the moat. The level of the island has been built up slightly towards the east. The interior of the island also contains a number of other earthworks which represent the remains of buildings. Around the east, south and west of the island is a once waterfilled ditch or moat c.9m wide and up to 1.6m deep. To the north the ditch is much slighter as the western fishpond would have extended up to the edge of the island making a large ditch unneccessary. Beyond the moat to the west is an external bank, 7m wide and 0.5m high; this extends to the south and east where only slight traces can be seen. Of the two pond bays to the north of the moat, the western example measures 150m east-west and 50m north-south, the pond being created by the construction of the causeway, built not only as a dam across the stream but also as a pathway across the surrounding marshy ground. The causeway is 3m high at its highest point, 14m wide at the base with the trackway along the top 5m wide. It survives as an earthwork for a stretch of 105m. Further to the north.the track can be traced across cultivated fields as a change in soil colour. The eastern pond bay is 115m south-west to north- east and 25m across and survives as a flat area of marshland adjacent to the stream. To the south-east of the pond and to the east of the moat is a field which contains the remains of ridge and furrow cultivation, the width of each strip being c.4.5m. The ridges survive to a height of 0.1m and the furrows to the same depth. This is one of a number of surrounding fields which the inhabitants of the moat would have cultivated. The site was known locally as `the old castle' and was believed to be the predecessor of Warminghurst Castle situated 1.2km to the south-west. Excluded from the scheduling are the fences and fence posts, although the ground beneath them 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:
Legacy System:


Aggs, (1991)


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

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