Medieval moated site, Lagham Manor, South Godstone


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012795

Date first listed: 17-Feb-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 02-May-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site, Lagham Manor, South Godstone
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Surrey

District: Tandridge (District Authority)

Parish: Godstone

National Grid Reference: TQ 36354 48030


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 monument at Lagham Manor is of particular importance because the earthworks survive exceptionally well and because excavations have not only demonstrated the high potential of the enclosed area for the recovery of evidence of the usage of the moated manor, but have also led to its detailed historical and archaeological documentation.


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


The monument at Lagham Manor includes the earthworks and enclosed area of a particularly large and strongly embanked moated site. Such 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. The moated site at Lagham (the name deriving from Old English Lagu-water; ham-house) lies on Weald clay and the earthworks thrown up soon after 1262 by Sir Roger de St. John survive remarkably well, the inner and outer banks on the south and east sides rising to a height of 7-9m above the present level of the moat. The nearly-circular moat is interrupted on the NW and SE sides by causeways of 19th and 17th century date respectively. A further breach in the inner bank has been made on the SW side to enable water to escape from a small moated ornamental garden of Post-Medieval date, and a raised boat-house formerly spanned this breach. Excavations at the monument between 1973 and 1978 demonstrated that remains of buildings of pre-moat date (late 12th century) survive in addition to structures of the Medieval and Post-Medieval periods. Of particular note was a dump of decorated floor tiles. At the centre of the moated enclosure are a house of 16th century origin (listed Grade II*) and a Brew House with Oasts of late 18th century date (listed Grade II). However, the scheduling applies only to buried remains and earthworks, and these buildings are excluded, although the ground beneath them and beneath the car park and road 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: 12749

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Original scheduling document, MOW 819,
Pagination 235-249, Ketteringham, L, Excavations at Lagham Manor, South Godstone, Surrey (TQ 364481), (1984)
Surrey Antiquity 1331,

End of official listing