Moated site in Ragget's Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012310

Date first listed: 23-Nov-1992


Ordnance survey map of Moated site in Ragget's Wood
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: West Sussex

District: Mid Sussex (District Authority)

Parish: Ansty and Staplefield

National Grid Reference: TQ 28049 23246


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 at Ragget's Wood survives well, the island having remained relatively undisturbed. The waterlogging of the ditch and fishponds provides ideal conditions for the survival of organic remains and environmental evidence relating both to the economy of the site and the landscape in which it was constructed.


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


The monument includes a rectangular, partly waterfilled moated site with associated fishponds situated in a valley bottom. The island is orientated north-south; it measures 33m by 28m and is surrounded by a ditch or moat which is between 7m and 10m wide. The moat is fed from springs to the north of the monument through the inlet leat in the north east corner. The north and east arms are waterlogged while the west and south arms are both waterfilled. These are connected in the south west corner via a sluice gate to the three fishponds which are situated to the west of the moat. The first fishpond is waterfilled and measures 52m north-south by 18m east-west. It is separated from the moat by a retaining bank 5m wide which stands at a height of 1.5m. This was constructed in order to keep up the level of water in the moat as the site on which the monument is situated slopes slightly to the west. The ponds are at a lower level than the moat and the waterflow is now controlled by a brick sluice dating to c.1920. The next set of ponds are separated from the first pond by a bank 7m wide which slopes down to the west. The next pond is fed from the first through a channel in its south west corner. This second pond is 21m long and 12m wide; it runs parallel to the first, is again waterfilled and is separated from a third pond to the north of it by a bank 1m wide. The third pond measures c.30m by 12m and is only partially waterfilled in the south, the rest having become silted up over the years. On the west edge of the second and third ponds is another retaining bank 4m wide and 1.2m high. The brick sluice, fencing which surrounds the monument and the inlet leat 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. 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: 20034

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Goodman, C H, 'Sussex Notes and Queries' in Sussex Notes and Queries (Volume 1), (1926)
Goodman, C H, 'Sussex Notes and Queries' in Sussex Notes and Queries (Volume 1), (1926), 24
Mr Clarke (owner), Re: Fishponds at Ragget's Wood, (1991)
SMR Record Card (3981), (1971)

End of official listing