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Groombridge Place

In the civil parish of Speldhurst.
In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of Kent.
1974 county of Kent.
Medieval County of Kent.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ53333761
Latitude 51.11735° Longitude 0.18951°

Groombridge Place has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


The moated site at Groombridge is of particular importance because the moat survives in its entirety and remains wet throughout the year so that the archaeological potential for the survival of normally perishable artefacts and other evidence is high. The potential for the recovery of evidence both of the ground plan of the original buildings at the site and of the development of the manor is also great, especially on the northern side of the island. The moated site at Groombridge Place comprises a stone-lined nearly square and broad moat defining an island 40m by 50m. The southern side of the island is occupied by a fine Jacobean house and associated service courtyard (both listed Grade I), but the north side is clear of buildings. The scheduling does not apply to any of the buildings on the site, although the ground beneath each is included. Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of the Manor. The moat not only marked the high status of the site but also served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moats were built between 1250 and 1350, and it is to this period that the moat at Groombridge is likely to date, since it first enters the historical record as a manor in 1286. No traces of the earlier buildings on the site are to be seen, but the sandstone lining of the moat probably represents early building material. The brick-built gatehouse and bridge on the north side, both excluded from the scheduling, may preserve the position of the original access to the moat. (Scheduling Report)

C17 country house on the site of a moated manor house documented in the C13. Built about 1239 by William Russell the square moat survives, although this was re-revetted in C17 when house rebuilt. Ornamental lake probably originally a fishpond. Nothing survives of the C13 building but the site is grander than a homestead moat and other fortifications could have been present and the site is occasionally described as a castle.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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