Medieval moated site, Glottenham Castle


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012779

Date first listed: 18-Jul-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site, Glottenham Castle
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Rother (District Authority)

Parish: Mountfield

National Grid Reference: TQ 72650 22115


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 Glottenham is one of a small but significant group of hill- top spring-fed moated sites which add balance to the generally lowland distribution of this class of monument. Limited excavations have confirmed the good survival of archaeological deposits on the island and the moat is likely to be of similarly high potential.


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


The moated site at Glottenham Castle includes a rectangular moat defining an island 50m long and 35m across, with a low external bank on the eastern side. Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor. The moat marked the high status of the occupier, but also served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moats were constructed between 1250 and 1350, and partial excavation of the site at Glottenham has shown that a date around 1300 is entirely appropriate for the site. Historical records suggest that Glottenham became the family seat of the de Etchinghams until it was abandoned in the late 16th or 17th century. Outside the moated area on the east side is an obliquely-aligned bank no more then 30cm in height. The causeway at the north-west corner is a recent addition but at the north-east corner an original leat survives which drained the water from the moat. The main feature of the excavations was the discovery of a stone-built gatehouse on the west side of the moat island which straddled the entrance road. All above-ground structures within the scheduled area are excluded from the scheduling, fencing forming the main example.

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: 12740

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Martin, D, Excavations At Glottenham Castle, (1990)
Martin, D, 'The Rape of Hastings Architectural Survey' in Glottenham Castle, ()
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
TQ 72 SW 3,

End of official listing