Medieval moated site and fishpond, Greatlee Wood, Effingham Junction


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013011

Date first listed: 11-Oct-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 02-May-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site and fishpond, Greatlee Wood, Effingham Junction
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Surrey

District: Guildford (District Authority)

Parish: Effingham

National Grid Reference: TQ 10774 54861

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 or, in some cases, which were used for horticulture. 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 in Greatlee Wood is one such example where the moat remains waterlogged and the potential for the recovery of evidence of the environment and economy of the manor is considerable. Remains of the buildings of the interior have been demonstrated by small-scale excavation to have survived in the soil and the publication of the results of the excavation means that the monument is well documented.


The monument in Greatlee Wood includes both the moat, with its associated embankments and drainage channel, and the area within the moat which features a narrow oval fishpond. 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 date to the period either side of 1300 AD, and pottery recovered during small-scale excavations at the site of the monument in 1952-3 concurs with such a date range. The excavators suggested that the site was that of the manor house of Effingham-la-Leigh. The form of the monument is unusual, with two straight sides at right-angles and of sizeable proportions (80m long by 9-12m wide), with a curved, narrower moat closing the circuit. The inner edge of the moat is strengthened by an earthen bank. On the south-eastern side where the moat is at its widest, a strong outer bank exists. This bank continues north-eastwards, bordering the drainage channel for the moat which extends for some 70m nearly to the edge of the plantation. There is a causeway entrance towards the centre of the south-western arm of the moat. Within the moated area are a number of hollows left over from the excavations but a deeper and oval-shaped depression on the south-east side is considered to be the remains of a fishpond or similar internal water-filled feature. A breach in the inner bank was made to allow water to fill this feature.

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: 12753

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Excav Report,

End of official listing