Moated site 300m south-east of Compton House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012675

Date first listed: 27-Jul-1990


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 300m south-east of Compton House
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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: Compton and Shawford

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 47463 25626


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 example is particularly important as it survives well, has high potential for the survival of organic and archaeological remains and displays a good range of features. Partial excavation has demonstrated the preservation of important archaeological deposits both within the moated site and associated with the adjacent earthworks.


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


The monument includes a moated site situated 300m ESE of Compton House. The monument survives as an area of low earthworks rectangular in shape and orientated north-south. The moated site has maximum external dimensions of c.80m north-south and 65m east-west with adjacent associated earthworks covering an area of c.154m north-south by 82m east-west. The moat is currently dry despite the location in an area of water meadows and proximity to the Itchen navigation. It survives to a width of 10m and a depth of between 0.5 and 1m. There is evidence of structures, visible as earthworks, on the island. Test excavations revealed artefact evidence for activity in and around the moat dating to the medieval and post- medieval periods. Historical sources suggest the site was not of manorial status although documents do suggest structures being associated with the site. These include a chapel and, in the 17th century, a house with ten hearths. A 16th century wall runs to the south of the moat for a length of some 75m.

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: 12059

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Boismier, WA, HCC Historic Landscape Project, (1985)
Dennison, E and Darvill, T, HBMC Monument Class Description - Moats, 1988,

End of official listing