Moated site immediately west of Furnace Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020383

Date first listed: 20-May-2003


Ordnance survey map of Moated site immediately west of Furnace Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 13:36:47.


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

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells (District Authority)

Parish: Cranbrook

County: Kent

District: Tunbridge Wells (District Authority)

Parish: Goudhurst

National Grid Reference: TQ 73880 34882


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the last 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Eastern Weald sub-Province of the South-eastern Province, bounded by the North and South Downs and comprising an oval arrangement of inward facing escarpments of chalk and sandstone, separated by clay vales, all ringing a higher sandstone ridge. Apart from concentrations of nucleated settlements in the Vale of Holmsdale and around Canterbury, the sub- Province is dominated by high and very high densities of dispersed settlements, giving a countryside with farmsteads and associated enclosed fields, of medieval foundation, intermixed with cottages, medieval moated sites and hamlets bearing the names `green' or `dene'.

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 immediately west of Furnace Farm forms one of the group of medieval moated sites which cluster in the clay vales of the region. Despite some damage to its northern and eastern edge, the moat survives comparatively well and exhibits little subsequent disturbance to its central island. The monument will therefore contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the original use and abandonment of the settlement.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site situated 2km west of Hartley village, within a stream valley which forms part of the High Weald in Kent. The roughly east-west aligned moat survives in the form of earthworks and associated buried remains. The rectangular central island measures approximately 40m by 26m and is surrounded by a ditch, up to 14m wide and 1m deep, flanked on its southern side by a low bank. The dry ditch, which was once water-filled and is now seasonally waterlogged, has become partly infilled over the years, although it survives as a prominent feature to the north, south and west. The northern edge of the moat has been partly disturbed by the subsequent construction of an access track and former barn, and the eastern arm of the moat has been partly levelled by other activities, including the construction of Furnace Farm house. Traces of the former inlet channel, which originally fed the moat at its north eastern corner, are visible on aerial photographs together with an outlet channel situated midway along the southern arm, designed to return water to the adjacent stream. Although no upstanding remains of former buildings have been identified, traces of buildings are expected to survive as buried features beneath the present ground surface of the central island. A disused fence, which follows the edge of the central platform on its western side, 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 34306

Legacy System: RSM


OS/67074;223, (1967)
RAF, 106G/LA122;2006, (1945)
RAF, CPE/UK/1752;4238, (1946)

End of official listing