'Castle Rough' Medieval moated site
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1013368
Date first listed: 12-Feb-1951
Date of most recent amendment: 16-Jul-1990
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Swale (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TQ 91827 65966
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 Castle Rough is of particular importance because it survives to a great extent intact. This has preserved a diverse range of features in addition to the moat itself, including a barbican gate which has not been identified at any other Kent moated site. The continued wetness of the moat indicates that the site has high archaeological potential for the recovery of normally perishable artefacts and other evidence, while the undisturbed and raised nature of the island suggests that the archaeological potential is high there too, both for the recovery of evidence of the buildings on the island and for the retrieval of evidence of the environment in which the monument was constructed from the buried ground surface.
Castle Rough, which local legend has as a Danish/Viking encampment dating from
893, is a fine example of a Medieval moated manor site. A waterlogged moat
some 6-8m across defines an island 45m square on which the buildings of the
manor stood, although traces of these are no longer visible on the surface. On
the south-west side of the moat a D-shaped raised area probably represents the
site of an external gatehouse, while at the eastern and southern corners leats
which guided the flow of water into and away from the moat survive.
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 small-scale excavation at the site has confirmed that Castle Rough
originated at about that time.
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: 12729
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
'Kent Archaeological Review' in Kent Archaeological Review Spring 1973, , Vol. 18, (1973)
13 sources quoted, TQ94 NW10,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
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