Medieval moated site at Share Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017546

Date first listed: 07-Aug-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 18-Sep-1990

Map

Ordnance survey map of Medieval moated site at Share Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells (District Authority)

Parish: Horsmonden

National Grid Reference: TQ 71558 39288

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 Share Farm is a particularly informative example. It is in an excellent state of preservation, with many of the slight earthworks which illustrate the manner of water management at the site still visible, and hence displays a considerable diversity of individual components. The archaeological potential of the site is great, since the continued waterlogging of the moat provides excellent conditions for the preservation of normally perishable artefacts, and also of evidence from seeds and pollen of the environment and economy of the site while it was in use.

History

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

Details

On flat ground to the east of Share Farm is a square double-moated enclosure with further natural barriers in the form of watercourses on both east and west sides. The moats are now almost dry, but would originally have formed wide slow-moving water courses. The monument includes the entire area between the outer water courses. Moated sites are generally seen as 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 constructed between 1250 and 1350, and it is to this period that the example at Share Farm is likely to date. The position of bridges which provided access onto the moat island is indicated by embankments at the mid-point of the western moat arms. The water in the inner and outer moats appears to have been kept separate, perhaps so that the outer moat could act as a fishpond without risk of contamination from the rubbish and sewage which was probably thrown into the inner moat. With a relatively small central island on which to build, it is considered likely that the area to the north of the artificial moats was also used for stables and other purposes. For these buildings the water channels on both sides and formerly to the south as well would have acted as a natural moat.

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: 12712

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Chant, K, AM107, (1983)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)

End of official listing