Udimore Court Lodge

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameUdimore Court Lodge
Alternative NamesUdymer; Udymere
Historic CountrySussex
Modern AuthorityEast Sussex
1974 AuthorityEast Sussex
Civil ParishUdimore

Remains of homestead moat (dry) enclosing church and Court Lodge.

The old manor-house, Court Lodge, having been pulled down, was purchased in 1912 and re-erected at Groombridge, near Tunbridge Wells. Licence to crenellate was granted in 1479 (VCH 1937)

Only two areas of the moat that once enclosed the church and the old Court Lodge now exist. The extant area north of the church has an average depth of 1-0m with a partly dry pond within its banks. The existing area east and south of the old Court Lodge is under close scrub with an average depth of 1.0m. The former line of the moat has been overlaid by buildings and farmland. No trace exists of the original Court Lodge (F1 JRL 18-SEP-72). (East Sussex HER)

There are the remains of a dry moat which enclosed St Mary's Church and the old Court Lodge manor house. Although only two areas of the moat now exist and the Court Lodge was dismantled in 1912 and reerected at Groombridge, the site was considered to have archaeological potential. It is recorded that both Edward I and III had stayed at Court Lodge and there is potential relating to the long history of the manor estate. (Collins 2006)

Regarding the moved building - Location TQ52873777, Speldhurst CP, Kent. Grade 2-star Listed Building Number–438601: PastScape Defra ELS number–897222

House, incorporating the retainers wing from a medieval courtyard house, Unimore Manor in Sussex. Medieval wing is mid/late C15. It was dismantled transported and carefully re-erected here in 1912 with some new building in similar style. The project was organised by the local artist Lawson Wood and supervised by his architect J.D. Clarke and the historian J.E. Ray. Medieval section is timber-framed on new brick footings... The medieval range is very well-preserved and of high quality construction. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Called a homestead moat by one report but clearly a significant manorial centre with a court and, on place-name evidence, a park to the west. The parish church of St Mary is certainly Norman and probably earlier in origin and the manor site is likely to be contemporary with the church. The re-erected building survives and is a mainly timber framed structure although this may only be the front range of a courtyard house. Even so it is clear the licenced house was not fortified beyond its moat.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ863189
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  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 440
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Sussex (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 69
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 475 (possible)
  • Salzman, L.F. (ed), 1937, VCH Sussex Vol. 9 p. 172-3
  • Lucas, E.V., 1904, Highways and Byways in Sussex (London: MacMillian and co) p. 370, 374 online transcription
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 321-2, 422 online copy


  • Blaauw, William Henry, 1861, ' Royal Licenses to Fortify Towns and Houses in Sussex' Sussex Archaeological Collections Vol. 13 p. 104-117 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1901, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward IV, Edward V, Richard III (1476-85) p. 162 online copy


  • Collins, Michelle, 2006, An Archaeological Watching Brief at Western Court Lodge, Udimore, East Sussex (Archaeology South-East 2514) (negative results in a small area of the site) online copy
  • Martin, David and Barbara, 1987, Udimore Court Lodge (Report by The Rape of Hastings Architectural Survey)(Report on moved building)