Tag Archives: moated site

Manor Farm Moat added to the COMPTON LINE

There are only four points on this alignment which is 30 degrees west of the SOUTH LINE reflecting the TYTING LINE which is 30 degrees east of the SOUTH LINE.  Unfortunately two of these points have relevance problems, this being one of them, but the alignment is of extraordinary accuracy.

Plan of Manor Farm Moat

Manor Farm Moat on COMPTON LINE

Manor Farm Moat on COMPTON LINE

Guildford Park Manor was excavated by the University of Surrey Archaeological Society over four seasons from 1972 to 1975. The moated site was found to be a substantial house from the 13th century, the house occupying the southern end of the moated area. At the point where the alignment passes through the island within the moat the stone foundations of a small building were excavated. The manor house was the home of the keeper of Guildford Park, a position created by Henry II at the beginning of his reign in 1154. A hedge survey gave results which are consistent with the park boundary and road to the house being established in the 12th century and most of the field boundaries surrounding the house dates to about 1700 when the park was divided into farms.

Manor Farm looking west from the site of the medieval manor

Manor Farm looking west from the site of the medieval manor

Just before Christmas 2016 I decided to try and find this site, which is surprisingly remote despite being within the grounds of the University of Surrey. Parking at the university sport centre I walked around rugby fields and navigated to a wooded area surrounded by more playing fields in the course of construction. The site is adjacent to derelict farm buildings and is quite a little oasis circled by scrubby growth. The moat is difficult to see but can be made out with a little exploration. Happily it has been proposed that this Scheduled Monument should be enhanced with appropriate planting in consultation with English Heritage.

The moat viewed from the northern end

The moat viewed from the northern end

Early conclusions

It is too soon to come to solid conclusions, there is still so much research remaining to be carried out, but I feel that something should be put down to sum up my current thoughts.  Briefly, there are too many examples of alignment; angular significance; occurrences of a defined measure of distance; and the predicted discovery of an unrecorded prehistoric site, to be entirely coincidental – especially as I cannot yet replicate this extraordinary pattern in another area. The most obvious area to look at is to the north of the current area of research but at this time I have not been able to find even one alignment in a comparable number of square miles although more time needs allocating to extend the area of interest.

There must be some issue of coincidences occurring. My biggest worry is the thorny issue of site relevance. Moated sites are invariably medieval and yet there are three on my alignments. Also at least one church is wholly Victorian. It is this one issue which most damns this field of research in the eyes of archaeologists and it cannot be ignored.  I am addressing the problem – as far as I can – in the chapter titled ‘The elephant in the corner’ but it is early days and much needs discussing.  At this time I honestly don’t know what to make of all this. Once I have all my collected data into the blog I will be asking for help and comment from others.