Medieval moated site, Warren Farm, Shepherd's Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012913

Date first listed: 22-Jan-1968

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Jul-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site, Warren Farm, Shepherd's Hill
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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: Hadlow Down

National Grid Reference: TQ 51876 22524


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 Warren Farm survives essentially undamaged and is therefore of high archaeological potential. The waterlogged moat provides ideal conditions for the survival of organic remains while the interior is considered likely to hold evidence of the organisation and development of the buildings of the manor.


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


The moated site at Warren Farm includes a slightly irregularly-shaped moat of exceptional depth in parts and a nearly-square island 52m by 55m in size which is defined by the moat. 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 Warren Farm is likely to date. The moat was fed by springs, which have ensured its continued wetness to the present day, and drained westwards through an outlet leat. Erosion and recutting in the area of the leat at the southern corner has given rise to an exaggeratedly abrupt angle here, while soil movement at the northern corner has impinged on the moat to give it a curved appearance. The two eastern sides have been cut very deeply into the hillslope in order to maintain a level with the lowest south-west side. No indications of buildings survive above ground in the interior of the island, nor are there signs of the original access route to the island -- the present causeway to the north is a result of erosion rather than an original feature. The fencing which surrounds the monument is excluded from the scheduling.

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: 12741

Legacy System: RSM


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

End of official listing