Medieval moated site with flanking ditches and associated fishpond, Claverham Manor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012781

Date first listed: 27-Jul-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site with flanking ditches and associated fishpond, Claverham Manor
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden (District Authority)

Parish: Arlington

National Grid Reference: TQ 53684 09034


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 Claverham illustrates the diversity of components which a moated manor often comprised - the fishpond and grand flanking outer moat arms in addition to the inner moat. Despite the partial clearance of the moats themselves and the building works which have occurred on the moat island, the site is still considered to retain significant archaeological information regarding the development of the manor and its buildings.


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


The moated site at Claverham includes a nearly-square moat 83m by 72m and up to 20m wide, an island on which stood the buildings of the manor house, a fishpond on the northern, upstream side and a pair of kidney-shaped extensions to the moat on the south-east 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 it is to this period that the example at Claverham is likely to date. The manor was held by the Fiennes family in the 16th century and perhaps earlier. The moat, which has been partially cleaned out in recent years, is linked to the fishpond on the north side by a leat which would probably have been controlled by a sluice. Both of the south-eastern ponds, although not necessarily as early as the moat proper, were probably joined to it prior to infilling in recent years and may represent flanking ditches or a partial outer moat dug to embellish the original entrance way from the south. The island contains the foundations of former buildings in the sizeable undisturbed lawns on the north side, although part of the area has been lost to the present house of late medieval or early post-medieval date (Listed Grade II). The entrance on the south side, although now broadened, is likely to preserve the location of the original entrance. All upstanding structures within the constraint area are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath each structure 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: 12744

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Pagination 981, 17/497, Listed buildings,
TQ 50 NW 4,

End of official listing