Medieval moated site, South Park Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012791

Date first listed: 18-Jun-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 02-May-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site, South Park Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Jan-2019 at 17:41:08.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Surrey

District: Waverley (District Authority)

Parish: Witley

National Grid Reference: SU 91600 35546


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 South Park survives well and exhibits a number of component parts such as an outer bank, an additional area of moat with a possible fishpond and an outer courtyard in addition to the main moat and island. Due to the continued waterlogging of the moats and the slightness of the disturbance of the moat island, the monument is also of high archaeological potential.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map and includes a boundary of 1 metre beyond the archaeological feature on the eastern side considered esential for the monument's preservation and support.


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


The monument at South Park Farm includes the rectangular terrace to the north of the moat and to the west of the green lane in addition to the area of the moat itself with its eastward extension and earthen bank. Such 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 moats were constructed in the period to either side of 1300 AD, and it is to this period that the example at South Park Farm is likely to date. The main moat is square in plan and one main leat bringing water to the monument is visible today, this outfalling at the south-west corner of the moat. To the east is a three-sided extension to the moat which is bordered on its eastern edge by a well-formed bank running alongside the green lane. At the northern edge of this extension is a projection of the moat which may have been fed by water independently, perhaps providing the unusual opportunity for a fishpond on the downstream side of the moated house. The moat island, to which a bridge must have provided access although there is no visible evidence of its location, is flat-topped and featureless. Fragments of tile and brick amongst the roots of fallen trees, however, indicates that this was once the site of a building. Field drains enter the moat at various points and a brick culvert marks the exit of water. The drains themselves and the disturbed soil above them are excluded from the scheduling along with the dams between the main moat and the moat extension and all fencing within the scheduled area.

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: 12756

Legacy System: RSM


Copy on file, F G B (Haslemere Archaeological Society), (1977)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Surrey Antiquity 1511,

End of official listing