Medieval moated site and Tudor ruins, Laughton Place


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013266

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 14-Aug-1990


Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site and Tudor ruins, Laughton Place
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden (District Authority)

Parish: Laughton

National Grid Reference: TQ 48316 11414


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 moat and its island are of high archaeological potential, since they hold evidence of a continuous sequence of occupation from the 13th-20th centuries. The remains of the Tudor building provide a rare example of continuity of building on the same site. At the same time they have great potential for adding to our understanding of the form of a manorial complex of this period since they were short-lived as the principal manor.


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


The monument includes a medieval moat and its island area and the remains of the principal mansion of the Pelham family dating to 1534. 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 built between 1250 and 1350, and it is to this period that the moat at Laughton Place is likely to date, although it was modified in the 16th century. The moat was deepened and flooded in 1984, at which time excavations showed that in the mid- 16th century the moat island was encircled by a brick wall with 8 interval turrets of octagonal or semi-octagonal form. Three bridges provided access to the island. Of the once grand buildings in the interior dating to this period only the brick tower survives. This is excluded from the scheduling because it is listed (Grade I), although the ground beneath it remains included. The tower was incorporated in the 18th century into a farmhouse, at which time other farm buildings were constructed. These farm buildings have now been removed. The length of walling to the west of the tower is included in the scheduling, as is the retaining wall to the moat, both being of 16th century date, whilst the wall to the south of the tower and the modern access bridge and gates to the south-east, the modern path to the tower and the iron fencing defining the garden to the tower are excluded, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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: 12746

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Gardiner, M, 'Sussex Archaeological Society' in Sussex Archaeological Society Newsletter, , Vol. 45, (1985), 413
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Listed Buildings Vol ?,
TQ51 SE4,

End of official listing