Medieval moated site, north of Oakdale Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012782

Date first listed: 02-May-1990


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

County: Surrey

District: Mole Valley (District Authority)

Parish: Ockley

National Grid Reference: TQ 15702 37816

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 example north of Oakdale Farm survives in good condition, undisturbed by later buildings, and the ditches remain waterfilled. The unusual form and location of the moated site illustrates the wide diversity of form in this class of monument.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map and includes a 3-10 metre boundary around the archaeological features considered essential for the monument's preservation and support.


The moated site north of Oakdale Farm includes an inner and outer moat which define a small square moat island and an L-shaped precinct area. Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor, the moat marking the high status of the occupier but also serving to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moated sites were built in the period to either side of 1300 AD, and it is to this period that the example at Oakdale Farm is likely to date. The monument occupies an unusual hillside location rather than, as is more common, a valley-bottom. The small, nearly-sqaure moat island is the probable site of the main residence of which nothing remains above the ground, while the L-shaped raised area may have provided space for ancillary buildings such as stables or granaries. There is no visible evidence of the original access onto the moated area, but the track from the south-west may formerly have led onto the islands via a bridge. There is no evidence of an inlet stream, and the moats were probably filled by spring-water.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 10 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: 12758

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Surrey Antiquity 715,

End of official listing