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Monument details

HER Number:TQ 94 NW 7
Type of record:Monument
Name:Homestead moat, Silver Wood, Pivington


A moat 400m to the east of Pivington was excavated in 1955: amongst the material recovered was 13th century pottery, a hall structure dating to the early/mid 14th century and a hall-house, probably early 16th century in date, lasting until the third quarter of the 17th century. This homestead moat is relatively complete and remains waterfilled. The pottery from the excavation is in store at Maidstone Museum.

Grid Reference:TQ 9215 4652
Map Sheet:TQ94NW

Monument Types

  • HOUSE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1200 AD? to 1900 AD?)
  • MOAT (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1200 AD? to 1900 AD?)
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1013121: MEDIEVAL MOATED SITE, SILVER WOOD, PIVINGTON

Full description

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[TQ 92164651] Moat [NR] (1) The moated site 400 yds. east of Pivington (TQ 922 465) was excavated by Mrs. Barbara de Seyssel in 1955 when three phases of occupation were uncovered:- 1. A long range covering most of the mound. Mid/late 13th c. pottery in the layers immediately above the moat upthrow appear to be associated with this. 2. A hall, probably early/mid 14th c. and probably lasting through the 15th c. 3. A hall-house, probably early 16th c., lasting until the third quarter of the 17th c. at least. [See plan AO/LP/63/79.] (2) Homestead moat complete and waterfilled. The interior is littered with masonry but any foundations revealed by the 1955 excavation have now become completely overgrown. The pottery from the excavation is in store at Maidstone Museum. Published 25" revised. (3) TQ 922465, Pivington, Pluckley. Listed in the county checklist of moated sites in Kent - December 1979. (4) Pluckly, Pevington - an oblong moated enclosure remains. (5) TQ 922465. Pevington, moated site. Excavation revealed an occupation perhaps sporadic, from the late 13th century until the 17th century. (7) Useful results from the excavation of the moated site at Pivington. (6 - 7) The pot-sherds from Pivington are comparable with the products of the Hareplain Kiln (TQ 83 NW 9) both in the forms present at both sites - large jugs with bung holes, bowls, cooking pot with ledged rims and lids - and in the hard, red wares with mauve or grey surface although these sherds are not completely identical to those found at Hareplain. An early 16th c date for the pottery is reasonable as a latton coin- weight and a jetton of this period were found in the same context. (8)

From the National Heritage List for England:
The site lies some 400m east of the present Pivington Farmhouse and comprises a roughly pentagonal moat enclosing an irregular island which features a markedly raised platform away from the lower north-east side. On the island are visible the foundation walls of buildings dated to the earlier 16th century by excavation in 1955. 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 occupier but also served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. In addition to the moat, a fishpond may be represented at the site by an extension of the moat at the south-west corner. It is at this point that the spring which fed the moat entered and a fishpond, separated from the moat proper by a sluice, is common at this location. Excavation showed that the site originated in the mid-13th century and it continued in use until the later 17th century, when it was abandoned. It co- existed with the main manor house (now the farmhouse) at Pivington which was rebuilt in the mid-17th century and is still in use today.

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 at Pivinton is of particular importance because it has a high level of historical and archaeological documentation. Excavations in 1955 revealed the long time span over which the site had been used, and established an outline of the development of the site. The undisturbed archaeological remains, especially the waterlogged remains which are likely to have survived in the silted-up moat, are potentially capable of expanding greatly the understanding of the use and development of this atypical form of moat. (10)

Archive material: RIG01 Rigold, S: Collection This material has not yet been fully catalogued. Copyright, date, and quantity information for this record may be incomplete or inaccurate.The collection contains a large number of artefact drawings, notes, catalogues, reports and a notebook relating to various medieval sites. For Totnes Castle see "Totnes Castle", MOW 1955.Condition : INTACTBibliographic Reference: 1) 1962, Volume 722) 1950, Volume 713) 1950, Volume 154) 1966, Volume 10

Rigold, S: Collection (Collection). SKE6537.

Rigold, S: Collection (Collection). SKE6537.

<1> OS 6" 1961 (OS Card Reference). SKE48369.

<2> Arch Cant 77 1962 27-47 plans illus (SE Rigold) (OS Card Reference). SKE35621.

<3> F1 ASP 08.01.64 (OS Card Reference). SKE41991.

<4> Moated Sites Res Gp 6 1979 47 (OS Card Reference). SKE47254.

<5> VCH Kent vol 1 1908 428 (IC Gould) (OS Card Reference). SKE51202.

<6> Md Arch vol 1 1957 160-2 (DM Wilson & JG Hurst) (OS Card Reference). SKE46651.

<7> CBA Res Rep 17 1978 Md Moated Sites (FA Aberg) The excavation of moated sites 37, 38, 39 (HEJ Le Pat (OS Card Reference). SKE38792.

<8> Arch Cant 87 1972 159-76 (DB Kelly) (OS Card Reference). SKE35883.

<9> Field report for monument TQ 94 NW 7 - January, 1964 (Bibliographic reference). SKE4753.

<10> English Heritage, Register of Scheduled Monuments (Scheduling record). SKE16191.

Sources and further reading

Cross-ref. Source description
---Collection: Rigold, S: Collection.
<1>OS Card Reference: OS 6" 1961.
<2>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 77 1962 27-47 plans illus (SE Rigold).
<3>OS Card Reference: F1 ASP 08.01.64.
<4>OS Card Reference: Moated Sites Res Gp 6 1979 47.
<5>OS Card Reference: VCH Kent vol 1 1908 428 (IC Gould).
<6>OS Card Reference: Md Arch vol 1 1957 160-2 (DM Wilson & JG Hurst).
<7>OS Card Reference: CBA Res Rep 17 1978 Md Moated Sites (FA Aberg) The excavation of moated sites 37, 38, 39 (HEJ Le Pat.
<8>OS Card Reference: Arch Cant 87 1972 159-76 (DB Kelly).
<9>Bibliographic reference: Field report for monument TQ 94 NW 7 - January, 1964.
<10>XYScheduling record: English Heritage. Register of Scheduled Monuments. [Mapped feature: #483 Moated site, ]