Medieval moated site, Cudworth Manor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012789

Date first listed: 02-May-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site, Cudworth Manor
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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: Newdigate

National Grid Reference: TQ 21152 41826


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 example of Cudworth Manor is of importance because the moat survives in excellent condition and because the undisturbed nature of much of the moat island will have allowed the evidence of the form and organisation of the moated manor to survive. Together these factors indicate that the monument is of high archaeological potential.


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


The monument at Cudworth Manor includes the moat itself and the area within the moat. Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor, the moat marking the high status of the occupiers but also serving to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moats were built in the period to either side of 1300 AD, and it is to this period that the example at Cudworth is likely to date. Although the buildings of the moat island have been extensively modified, the moat itself remains essentially intact. It averages 6m in width and is brick- revetted only on the inner bank of the north-west side. It was probably originally fed directly from the adjacent stream but is now separated from it and is supplied by seepage from that stream, which passes close by on the western side effectively creating an outer moat, albeit probably later, on this side. The standing buildings within the moated area are excluded from the scheduling (but not the ground beneath), but building material of medieval date visible in the footings of the present house suggest that in its final form the moated manor took the form of a courtyard house of which extensive remains may survive in what is now the garden of the house. The scheduling applies only to buried remains and earthworks. All of the standing structures in the garden are excluded, amongst which are the footbridges across the moat, the low wall and paths in the garden, the steps on the inner and outer sides of the moat at the northern corner and the sluice in the same area. The ground beneath each, however, 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: 12761

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Surrey Antiquity 860,

End of official listing