Medieval moated site west of Vachery Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013038

Date first listed: 18-Jul-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site west of Vachery Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 16:29:29.


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

County: Surrey

District: Waverley (District Authority)

Parish: Cranleigh

National Grid Reference: TQ 06812 36758


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

Reasons for Designation

Around 6000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches, often, or seasonally, water-filled, which partly or completely enclose one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or ecclesiastical buildings or which, in Some cases, 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. Moated sites were built throughout the Medieval period, however, are widely scattered across England and exhibit a high level of diversity in their form and sizes. They form a significant class of Medieval monument and play an important part in the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of normally-perishable organic remains. The example near Vachery Farm is amongst the best surviving moated sites in Surrey, having remained essentially undisturbed since the decline of the manor house on this site. It consequently has high potential for the recovery of archaeological evidence of the organisation and development of the manor through the Middle Ages.


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


The monument west of Vachery Farm comprises a nearly-square broad ditch with a causeway which leads onto a central island. The remains are those of a moated site, a class of monument which is generally seen as the prestigious residence of the Lord of the manor. The moat marked the high status of the occupier but also served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moated sites were constructed in the years to either side of 1300AD, and Vachery Manor House is known from historical records to have existed in 1296. A scatter of medieval roofing tile in the interior bears witness to the former existence of a grand house on the site. The moat is broad (up to 16m across), has been almost completely filled by silt and decomposing vegetation and remains water-logged or water-filled throughout the year. It is fed by a stream from the south-east and drains along an artificial water course, probably of later date than the moat, on the western side. Access to the interior is gained, somewhat unusually, by a causeway near the south-east corner of the monument -- bridge or causeway entrances are more often found at the mid-point of one arm of the moat. The interior is bordered by a slight bank on the inner edge of the moat, which was probably originally surmounted by a palisade fence. The main part of the moat island is wooded and the only feature of particular note is a small brick-built emplacement of unclear purpose on the western side. This more recent structure is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath remains included.

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: 12760

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Surrey Antiquity 685,

End of official listing