Medieval moated site, Silver Wood, Pivington


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013121

Date first listed: 13-Jul-1990


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

County: Kent

District: Ashford (District Authority)

Parish: Pluckley

National Grid Reference: TQ 92153 46525


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 site at Pivinton is of particular importance because it has a high level of historical and archaeological documentation. Excavations in 1955 revealed the long time span over which the site had been used, and established an outline of the development of the site. The undisturbed archaeological remains, especially the waterlogged remains which are likely to have survived in the silted-up moat, are potentially capable of expanding greatly the understanding of the use and development of this atypical form of moat.


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


The site lies some 400m east of the present Pivington Farmhouse and comprises a roughly pentagonal moat enclosing an irregular island which features a markedly raised platform away from the lower north-east side. On the island are visible the foundation walls of buildings dated to the earlier 16th century by excavation in 1955. Moated sites are generally seen as the 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. In addition to the moat, a fishpond may be represented at the site by an extension of the moat at the south-west corner. It is at this point that the spring which fed the moat entered and a fishpond, separated from the moat proper by a sluice, is common at this location. Excavation showed that the site originated in the mid-13th century and it continued in use until the later 17th century, when it was abandoned. It co- existed with the main manor house (now the farmhouse) at Pivington which was rebuilt in the mid-17th century and is still in use today.

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: 12719

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Rigold, S E, Excavation Of A Moated Site At Pivington, (1963)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)

End of official listing