Moated site and associated earthworks north west of West Wolves Farm, Ashington.
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 23-May-2019 at 12:32:18.
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:
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