Medieval moated site, East Sutton


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site, East Sutton
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Maidstone (District Authority)
East Sutton
National Grid Reference:
TQ 82969 49311

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 East Sutton Park is of particular importance because the earthworks survive to a great extent intact, the site exhibiting a diversity of components rarely found on moated sites in the South East. Furthermore, since a) the island within the moat is undisturbed by later buildings, b) the earthwork banks protect the old ground surface on which the site was constructed and c) the moat remains waterlogged so that normally perishable artefacts such as wood and leather may survive, the archaeological potential of the site can be assessed as high.


The moated site at East Sutton Park is situated on a hill slope 200m south- east of the subsequent Elizabethan buildings. It comprises a nearly square moat ditch measuring 65m along each arm and varying in width from 2-7m across, together with its interior island. Both the island and the moat have an earthwork bank around their edges, the outer bank being particularly evident on the south and west sides. 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 constructed between 1250 and 1350, and it is from this period that the example at East Sutton Park is likely to date. The site is spring-fed and shows no evidence of having been supplied by a stream. The moat is waterlogged throughout the year although standing water accumulates only in the north and south arms of the moat. An apparent entrance at the north-east corner is probably not original, but mid-way along the northern arm of the moat on the outer side is a mound which is likely to represent one end of the bridge which formerly provided access to the island. The fencing around the site 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:
Legacy System:


Darvill, T.C., MPP Single Monument Evaluations - Moats, (1988)
Has NE access as original, TQ 94 NW 9,


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

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