Old Boarzell moated site 100m north east of Swiftsden Farm, Little Swiftsden


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015240

Date first listed: 31-Jan-1997


Ordnance survey map of Old Boarzell moated site 100m north east of Swiftsden Farm, Little Swiftsden
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Rother (District Authority)

Parish: Ticehurst

National Grid Reference: TQ 71671 28499


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.

Old Boarzell moat lies within the Eastern Wealds, forming one of a group of medieval moated sites which cluster in the clay vales of the region. The moat survives comparatively well, despite infilling and some modern disturbance, and part excavation and survey has shown that it contains building foundations, buried archaeological remains and waterlogged deposits relating to the construction, development and use of the monument over at least seven centuries.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site situated in a shallow clay valley which forms part of the Sussex Weald. It now has the appearance of a slightly raised platform covering an area of around 0.25ha. However part excavation and a comprehensive survey of the monument and the historical and cartographic sources which relate to it have shown that it orignally took the form of a roughly north-south aligned, rectangular artificial island surrounded by a water-filled ditch. The analysis of pottery sherds found during the excavation suggests that it was constructed during the late-13th or early-14th centuries and subsequently underwent at least one phase of major redevelopment. Buildings on the island included a large, jettied domestic range constructed around a courtyard in the south eastern corner, and, during the 17th and 18th centuries, an associated brewhouse. During the post-medieval period the main access to the island was provided by a stone-built bridge which spanned the northern arm of the moat, with subsidiary access via a smaller bridge across the southern ditch. The island was bounded by a defensive curtain wall. Records suggest that the buildings were demolished and the moat infilled in 1859. The modern fence which crosses the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 29247

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Martin, D, Martin, B, An Architectural Survey of Great Boarzell, Ticehurst, Sussex, (1984)

End of official listing