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Iden Moat

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
La Mote; The Moat; The Mote

In the civil parish of Iden.
In the historic county of Sussex.
Modern Authority of East Sussex.
1974 county of East Sussex.
Medieval County of Sussex (Rape of Hastings).

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ90012393
Latitude 50.98338° Longitude 0.70573°

Iden Moat has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

The Manor of Moat or La Mote first appears in 1318, when Sir Edmund de Passeley, owner of Leigh, received licence to crenellate his dwelling place of La Mote (VCH Vol. 9). Near Moat Farm are the scanty remains of a fortified manor house enclosed by a large homestead moat. The moat, which is fairly well preserved, and which is sub-rectangular in plan, measures overall 130.0m. NE-SW by an average 140.0m transversely. It is waterfilled on the SW side only. The original entrance was midway in the NW side, and an extension to the enclosed area which projects out into the moat carried some form of gatehouse, of which a fragment of walling remains in situ on the N side of the entrance way. It is 1.2m thick and is built of ragstone and flint rubble masonry formerly faced on both sides with ashlar. There is a corresponding patch of wall foundation on the S side. The entrance was defended by a second outer moat which joins the inner moat at its NW and SW corners. The outer moat is waterfilled to the S of the causewayed entrance which crosses it midway. The stream which fed the moats from the south was dammed to form a fish pond, which is now dry but in good condition. Moat Farm cottage, built of red brick, has foundations of massive stone blocks, which without doubt, came from the site. Similar stones are to be found in farm outbuildings 100.0m to the south (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comment F1 ASP 12-OCT-62). Moated site c 170 ft square. Stands 8 ft above water level. Moat from 100 ft - 75 ft wide, dug only on W. Some upstanding limestone-faced masonry, 6 x 3ft x 3 ft high, flint covered and bonded with mortar, c 30 ft from NW corner (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigators Comment F2 NKB 27-SEP-72). (East Sussex HER)

The moated site at Moat Farm survives to a large extent in an state of preservation and displays a diversity of component parts. The monument is of high archaeological potential, both the island because the uneven topography indicates that foundations survive and the moat because it remains waterlogged, providing good conditions for preservation. The fishpond also survives well and forms an integral part of the moated site.
The moated site at Iden includes a central island with still surviving remains of stone-built buildings, a wide wet moat with a causeway on the north-west side, two extensions to the moat on the west side which form a partial outer circuit and a rectangular fishpond on the south side. Moated sites are usually 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 constructed between 1250 and 1350, and historical documents suggest that Sir Edmund de Passeley received permission to provide a moat for the manor of La Mote around 1318. The outer moat on the western side, where the entrance to the manor was located, indicates that this site was particularly grand, and that at least some of the buildings were of stone supports this suggestion. The fishpond on the south side is also suitably large and would have provided another source of prestige in the form of fresh fish for the table. Part of the reason for the wealth of the manor may have been its trading links -- what may be a wharf for landing cargoes lies alongside the modern approach road to the site, outside the scheduled area. (Scheduling Report)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1318 Dec 10 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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