Medieval moated site, Lovehurst Manor

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1013122
Date first listed:
13-Jul-1990

Map

Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site, Lovehurst Manor
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County:
Kent
District:
Maidstone (District Authority)
Parish:
Staplehurst
National Grid Reference:
TQ 77830 41352

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.

Lovehurst moated site is of particular importance because the moat survives to a greater extent than most examples, therefore exhibiting considerable diversity of features including a section of outer retaining bank and a well- defined integral fishpond. The moat, although partially scoured, remains of high archaeological potential because it has remained water-filled throughout its history and therefore provides excellent conditions for the survival of perishable artefacts and of evidence of the economy and environment of the manor during its lifetime.

Details

The moated site at Lovehurst comprises a sub-circular moat 8-10m wide which is held back on the south side by an external bank and which encloses an island ca.45m in diameter. On the west side a stream enters the moat via a rectangular extension to the moat which was probably a former fishpond. An 18th century house with a 17th century timber-framed core occupies the centre of the moat island but is excluded from the scheduling (listed Grade II). Moats are generally 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 moated sites were constructed between 1250 and 1350, and it is to this period that the moat at Lovehurst is likely to date although an earlier date is also possible. No evidence of the original buildings presumed to have occupied the site survive above ground. In addition to the house on the island, part of the moat island is now occupied by a twin oast and drying floor, but the oasts and any other upstanding structures within the scheduled area are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these structures is included.

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:
12720
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Other
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Listed Buildings Vol 1415 3/150,

Legal

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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