Medieval moated site, East Sutton
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Sep-2019 at 14:33:48.
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