Located within Share Farm are the earthwork remains of a moated manorial site that probably served as the caput for the manor of Horsmonden (although there was originally another moated site at Sprivers, a little over one mile to the north-west, which could have been the primary site). Such moated sites became common during the mid-thirteenth century although some examples date back as far as the Saxon period. The primary purpose of the moat was to provide protection from small scale raiding and wild animals but on many sites would also have been used as a fishpond, an important source of food in the (high status) medieval household. Crucially the moat would also have served as a clear statement about the importance of its owner.
The manorial site at Share Farm consisted of a central island that was surrounded by double concentric moats with further protection provided by the River Teise and a small stream that ran to the east and west of the site respectively. The island itself was relatively small and would probably have been occupied solely by the manorial house. Ancillary buildings, such as stables, were probably located in the area to the north of the site where the river and the stream would have provided some protection. Each of the moats were fed by water diverted from the river and were managed through a series of channels and sluices. The two moats were entirely separate probably due to the outer one being used as a fishpond whilst the inner one was used for dumping sewage and waste. The central island was accessed via a set of bridges on the west side of the site.
Precisely when the site at Share Farm was first fortified is unknown. Some authors have mooted that the scale of the defences suggest a Saxon origin but, whilst this is possible, there is no evidence to support the theory and it seems more likely the earthworks date from 1250-1350 when such arrangements were commonplace. The site continued in use well into the post-medieval period with some evidence of minor industrial activity. Cottages existed on the site during the eighteenth century but thereafter the site was abandoned in favour of the less constricted and slightly higher ground to the west. Today the site is used for grazing livestock.
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Guy, J (1980). Kent Castles. Meresborough Books.
Historic England (1990). Medieval Moated site at Share Farm, Listing Number 1017546. Historic England, London.
Johnson, E.D (2015). Moated Sites and the Production of Authority in the Eastern Weald of England. Medieval Archaeology Vol. 59
King, C.D.J (1983). Castellarium anglicanum: an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Kraus International Publications.
Rudling, D. (2003). The archaeology of Sussex to AD2000. Heritage Marketing and Publications, Great Dunham.
Salter, M (2016). The Castles of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Folly Publications.
Share Farm moated site is a well preserved example of the defended medieval manor. The remains are on private land with no public access but a right of way runs directly adjacent to the earthworks allowing them to be viewed from the west. Furthermore the bridge over the River Teise affords a slightly elevated view of the site.
Moated Manor. The earthworks of the manorial site can be seen from the adjacent public right of way.
Share Farm. The moated site is found on Share Farm. The public footpath runs past the earthworks and heads down to the River Teise.
Twin Moats. The manor was surrounded by concentric moats.
SHARE FARM MOATED MANOR
Share Farm was once a medieval moated manorial site that may originally have been the caput of Horsmonden. The manor was surrounded by a complex water management scheme which consisted of a series of channels and sluices that fed a double moat system. Today only earthworks remain.
Share Farm is located off Brick Kiln Lane which is found off Goudhurst Road to the east of Horsmonden. On-road parking is possible (with care) near the footpath to the moated site.
Car Parking Option
Brick Kiln Lane, TN12 8EU
Share Farm Moated Manor