Medieval moated site, Ripple Manor
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Sep-2019 at 06:42:00.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Maidstone (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- TQ 81875 56652
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 site of Ripple Manor, which tradition has as a hide-out of the rebel Jack Cade after the failed uprising of 1450, is of particular importance because the moat remains wet throughout the year so that the archaeological potential of the site, particularly for the recovery of climatic and economic evidence, is great. In addition, the small-scale excavations at the site have demonstrated that evidence of the buildings which stood there still survives.
The site at Ripple, situated in a tributary valley of the River Len, comprises
a sub-rectangular moat measuring some 7-15m wide which encloses an island some
55m by 30m. The moat, terraced into the slope on the uphill side and embanked
on the down slope side, has silted up to a large extent but remains
waterlogged throughout the year.
Moats are generally seen as prestigious residences of the Lords of the Manor.
The moat not only marked the high status of the occupier 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 moat at Ripple is likely to
date. Maps of 1746 and 1755 mark the site as that of "the old mansion house
Some evidence of the buildings which once occupied the site survives on the
island in the form of stone footings and roof tiles exposed during haphazard
excavations. No definite trace of the fishponds etc. which are often
associated with this class of site, can be found although the field on the
north side contains a marked hollow which may represent the former emergence
of the spring. A concrete culvert of early 1950s vintage marks the exit
channel from the moat, which was fed by a spring as well as by recent land
drains. This culvert, along with any modern fencing within the scheduled
area, is excluded from the scheduling.
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:
- Legacy System:
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Recorded in Kent SMR, Quinnell, N., RCHME Survey Record, (1986)
Title: Survey of Land of Hon. Wm. Belford 1755 by Benjamin Biss Source Date: 1755 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
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