Medieval moated site in Parlour Copse

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012186

Date first listed: 31-Jul-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site in Parlour Copse
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: West Sussex

District: Chichester (District Authority)

Parish: Harting

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 79178 22024

Summary

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 Parlour Copse survives well. Despite the disturbance caused by partial excavation, the monument retains considerable archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence both of the different buildings on the moat island and of the lifestyle of their occupants. The unusual triangular form of the moat adds to the known range of types of this class of monument.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the moat, interior area and outer banks on the site of a medieval moated manor house. The monument is of an unusual triangular form. The eastern arm of the moat is some 100m long and 20m wide. The north- western arm is of a similar length and is 25m wide. The southern arm of the moat is narrower, measuring some 7m across, and is also the longest of the three at 110m. The northern corner of the triangle has been expanded into a rectangular pond 60m by 45m known as Parlour Pond. Outside the moat, earthworks survive on two sides. To the south the moat is embanked to a height of over 1m in places, with a marked break in the bank near the south- east corner representing a former inlet leat. On the north-west side, a raised area bordered on both sides by shallow ditches may indicate the position of a bridge abutment and hence the means of access onto the moat island. The moat island has an undulating surface due to the foundations of former buildings in this area. Some of these foundations were exposed during partial excavations in the 1940s, and pottery from these investigations was dated to the medieval period. Occupation was found to have ceased during the 17th century. The scheduling follows the field boundaries but the fences are excluded from the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12853

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
County Monument No. 0290,

End of official listing