Moated site at Marwell Manor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012196

Date first listed: 21-May-1980

Date of most recent amendment: 05-Aug-1992


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Marwell Manor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: Winchester (District Authority)

Parish: Owslebury

National Grid Reference: SU 50019 20858


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.

Although a large number of moated sites are known in England, relatively few survive in Hampshire. This site is particularly important as it survives well and displays an above average range of features. The importance of the site is considerably enhanced by the survival, on the moat island, of Marwell Manor, a listed building which is largely intact, and areas of medieval parkland surrounding the site with surviving archaeological features including the park pale. In addition, historical associations link the site with the Bishops of Winchester from the mid 10th to the late 16th century.


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


The monument includes a rectangular moated site with internal fishpond at Marwell Manor. The moat is well-preserved and partly wet although now landscaped in parts. The site is orientated north-south and has external dimensions of 160m north-south and 140m east-west. The area enclosed by the moat is c.130m by 110m. The moat averages 20m wide and has an external bank of similar width along the southern arm and at the southern end of the eastern and western arms. That on the eastern arm continues beyond the southern limit of the moated site for a further 100m and may represent part of the park boundary. In the south-west corner of the moat island is a fishpond 30m east-west by 20m north-south. The site was a major rural manor of the Bishops of Winchester from the mid 10th century to the late 16th century. It had an associated park from at least 1279 until the 17th century. All modern buildings on the moat island, in addition to the Manor House and Moat House both listed grade II, are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

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


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

Legacy System number: 12054

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Stamper, P, Medieval Hampshire: studies in landscape history, (1983)
Dennison, E and Darvill, T, HBMC Monument Class Description - Moats, 1988,

End of official listing