Medieval moated site and adjacent hythe, Lowden Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013079

Date first listed: 13-Jul-1990

Map

Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site and adjacent hythe, Lowden Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: Kent

District: Ashford (District Authority)

Parish: Rolvenden

National Grid Reference: TQ 85456 29450

Summary

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 example at Lowden is of particular importance not only because the moat and fishpond survive very well and show a wide diversity of component parts, but also because they are associated with a variety of other types of contemporary earthworks. The different types of earthworks have great archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence of the organisation and development of the manor, for illustrating the responses of the occupants of the manor to the changes in water levels on the marsh and for demonstrating the extent of trading links with France over the lifetime of the monument.

History

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

Details

The moated site at Lowden comprises a regular square moat and island together with an adjoining fishpond, a nearby building platform surviving as an earthwork and a small rectangular harbour or hythe. The latter feature signifies the closeness of the moated site when it was built to the navigable waters of the Rother levels. 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 built between 1250 and 1350, and it is to this period that the example at Lowden is likely to date. Fishponds, as visible on the north side of the moated site, were similarly prestigious features, providing fresh fish for the table. The manor house on the moat island was at the centre of a group of manorial buildings, one of which probably occupied the terraced platform north of the fishpond. The moated manor was built on the contemporary shoreline and was equipped with its own hythe for water-borne trade. The rectangular embayment for mooring and loading ships is still visible on the east side of the moated site. As the water level receded, a canal was constructed to maintain the link between the hythe and the sea.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12736

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
TQ 82 NE 2,

End of official listing