Medieval moated site, Chequer Court

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013145

Date first listed: 22-Aug-1990

Map

Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site, Chequer Court
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Location

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

County: Kent

District: Dover (District Authority)

Parish: Ash

National Grid Reference: TR 28197 59055

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 moated site at Chequer Court is of particular importance because the moat survives essentially intact and only a small part of the moat island is affected by the presence of a later building. The site is also of high archaeological potential, both because the moat remains wet and therefore is likely to preserve normally perishable artefacts as well as evidence of the climate and economy of the manor, and because on the island the foundations of the original buildings are likely to be preserved as evidence of the organisation and development of the manor in the Middle Ages.

History

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

Details

The moated site at Chequer Court, on the north-west side of Ash, comprises a generally wide and water-filled moat, each arm some 60m in length, which has an integral fishpond at the south-west corner and which defines an almost square moat island. The central part of the island is occupied by a house of 16th century origin which is listed Grade II and which is excluded from the scheduling, although the archaeological remains beneath the building are included. Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of the Manor. The moat marked the high status of the occupier of the site, 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 Chequer Court is likely to date. The series of fishponds, or perhaps a silt trap and fishponds, evident at the south-west corner of the moat (which is the upstream side as is usual on such sites) would have provided fish for the table. A leat has been cut at the north-west corner of the moat to allow water from the moat to return to its natural stream course. The causeway which provides access to the site from the east is likely to preserve the position of the original entrance. All above ground structures on the moat island are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them 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: 12727

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
07 Jan 1985, TR 25 NE 9, (1985)
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)
Listed buildings Vol. 1891 5/26,

End of official listing