Medieval moated site and adjoining fishpond, Moat Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1012916
Date first listed: 26-Jul-1967
Date of most recent amendment: 25-Jul-1990
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
County: East Sussex
District: Rother (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TQ 89970 23903
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 Moat Farm survives to a large extent in an state of preservation and displays a diversity of component parts. The monument is of high archaeological potential, both the island because the uneven topography indicates that foundations survive and the moat because it remains waterlogged, providing good conditions for preservation. The fishpond also survives well and forms an integral part of the moated site.
The moated site at Iden includes a central island with still surviving remains
of stone-built buildings, a wide wet moat with a causeway on the north-west
side, two extensions to the moat on the west side which form a partial outer
circuit and a rectangular fishpond on the south side. Moated sites are
usually 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and historical documents suggest that Sir Edmund de Passeley received
permission to provide a moat for the manor of La Mote around 1318. The outer
moat on the western side, where the entrance to the manor was located,
indicates that this site was particularly grand, and that at least some of the
buildings were of stone supports this suggestion.
The fishpond on the south side is also suitably large and would have provided
another source of prestige in the form of fresh fish for the table. Part of
the reason for the wealth of the manor may have been its trading links -- what
may be a wharf for landing cargoes lies alongside the modern approach road to
the site, outside the scheduled area.
All standing structures within the scheduled area, except those on the moat
island, are excluded from the scheduling, along with the road surfaces, all
fences and gates and the sluice gate at the north-east corner of the moat.
The ground beneath all of these structures, where they lie within the
scheduled area, remains covered by 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: 12737
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Martin, D, Martin, B, 'The Rape of Hastings Architectural Survey' in Iden - Mote Place, ()
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
TQ 82 SE 1,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing