Medieval moated site and post-Medieval ice-house, Moat Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013061

Date first listed: 21-Apr-1977

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jul-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site and post-Medieval ice-house, Moat Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: TQ 58058 37461


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 Moat Farm site is of particular importance because it is sited on high ground and is spring-fed, rather then being sited in a valley as are most such sites. The moat is well preserved and remains wet throughout the year so that the potential for the recovery of perishable artefacts and of economic and environmental evidence from these waterlogged deposits is high. The island has been modified but features a well preserved ice-house as an example of re- use of the site at a much later date.


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


A nearly square, wide but shallow moat defines a small island about 40m square at this site. Within the area of the moat island is a post-Medieval ice house. Moated sites are usually seen as prestigious residences of the Lords of the Manor. The moat not only 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 Moat Farm is likely to date. Part of the moat island has been modified into a small, almost circular grove or grotto, with exotic tree species and rhododendrons around a central clear area. An ice-house of a type popular between 1840-50, used to store ice for the refrigeration of food, is integral to the design of the grove, since its domed earthen roof was used as an ornamental garden feature. The presence of the ice-house indicates a mid-19th century date for the conversion of the site into a garden feature. The modern bench within the grotto is excluded from the scheduling.

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: 12715

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Wood, E S, Collins Field Guide to Archaeology, (1963)
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)

End of official listing