Medieval moated site and adjoining fishponds, Blackham Court.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013208

Date first listed: 24-Apr-1978

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Aug-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site and adjoining fishponds, Blackham Court.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 24-Jan-2019 at 09:25:10.


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

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden (District Authority)

Parish: Withyham

National Grid Reference: TQ 50110 37804


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 Blackham survives in good condition and has been shown to have high archaeological potential. Additionally the adjacent fishponds also survive well and are considered to retain considerable evidence of their original form and management.


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


The monument at Blackham Court includes a rectangular moated site 75m by 60m and a probably later set of parallel fishponds on its eastern side. 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 in the period around 1300 AD, and pottery recovered during the excavation of a swimming pool within the moated area confirmed that it is to this period that the example at Blackham is likely to date. To the east of the moated site is a set of three parallel fishponds which in two cases appear to have been linked to each other and to the moated site. The third and easternmost appears to have been separate. The fishponds extend across the entire area between streams on the north and south with which the water levels in the pond were regulated. Blackham Court itself appears to have superseded the presumed moated building as the manor house in late Medieval times, although pottery continued to be discarded onto the moat island into the 17th century. The fishponds are best seen as part of this later manorial complex than as part of the moated site. The swimming pool and the tennis court which are sited on the moat island are both excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included. All above-ground structures within the scheduled area, such as fences and bridges, are excluded from the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12735

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
TQ 53 NW 8,

End of official listing