Lagham Manor

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameLagham Manor
Alternative NamesLangham; Lageham in Walkested
Historic CountrySurrey
Modern AuthoritySurrey
1974 AuthoritySurrey
Civil ParishGodstone

Lagham Manor is of particular importance because the earthworks survive exceptionally well and because excavations have not only demonstrated the high potential of the enclosed area for the recovery of evidence of the usage of the moated manor, but have also led to its detailed historical and archaeological documentation. The monument at Lagham Manor includes the earthworks and enclosed area of a particularly large and strongly embanked moated site. Such sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor, the moat marking the high status of the occupier but also serving to deter casual raiders and wild animals. The moated site at Lagham (the name deriving from Old English Lagu-water; ham-house) lies on Weald clay and the earthworks thrown up soon after 1262 by Sir Roger de St. John survive remarkably well, the inner and outer banks on the south and east sides rising to a height of 7-9m above the present level of the moat. The nearly-circular moat is interrupted on the NW and SE sides by causeways of 19th and 17th century date respectively. A further breach in the inner bank has been made on the SW side to enable water to escape from a small moated ornamental garden of Post-Medieval date, and a raised boat-house formerly spanned this breach. Excavations at the monument between 1973 and 1978 demonstrated that remains of buildings of pre-moat date (late 12th century) survive in addition to structures of the Medieval and Post-Medieval periods. Of particular note was a dump of decorated floor tiles. At the centre of the moated enclosure are a house of 16th century origin (listed Grade II-star) and a Brew House with Oasts of late 18th century date (listed Grade II). (Scheduling Report)

The earthwork at Lagham consists of an oval enclosure with high bank and ditch comprising about 6 acres of land and 2 of water. The ditch is divided into two portions by causeways at the N.W. and S.E. of the enclosure. A fragment of R.B

pottery has been found in the bank near the surface of the original soil. The earthworks may be prehistoric and the fine preservation of the site can probably be attributed to its fortification in 1261 by Roger St. John, when either ancient works were repaired or new ones made. Foundations of stone buildings were found a few years ago on the lawn of the present (17th c) house and part of a gateway perhaps at the N.W. entrance was standing in the early 19th c. (Malden, 1907) The moated enclosure outside the SE angle possibly contained the earliest manor house.

The boundary of Lagham Park, enclosing c.380 acres in Godstone and 120 in Tandridge, can be readily traced on either side of the Godstone Station road close to Posternagate Fm. (which preserves the memory of the back entrance to the park). It consists of bank and ditch, which is so high in Bradford Wood as to suggest a defence. The park is mentioned as 'Old Park' in 1661. (Lambert, 1929)

Lagham Manor earthworks are as described and in good condition. At TQ 36334800 they incorporate the remains of a homestead moat, thus disproving any claim that the work is perhaps prehistoric in origin. The smaller moated enclosure outside the main work is not a homestead moat; its exact purpose is obscure but it is probably connected with the deer park, the pale of which can still be traced for most of its length. According to the owner, the foundations found c.1900 belonged to farm buildings destroyed in the 19th c. (F1 FGA 12-JUL-65).

Excavation by the Bourne Society, directed by L Ketteringham in 1974. Sandstone footings of what is believed to be the bakery and brewhouse with a moderate quantity of 13th/14th century pottery have been revealed. The building, at least 11m long and divided into four, was timber framed and destroyed by fire probably in the late 14th century. The moat, over 18m wide and irregular in shape, is being surveyed to seek the cause for its size, and to assess whether it followed natural contours (Ketteringham, 1974). Continued excavation in 1975 and 1976. The sandstone footings of a large barn, internal dimensions 36.5 by 9.7m were discovered. The thatched or shingled roof was supported on a substantial timber frame, the posts of which rested on short aisle walls and extended over low clay walls c1m thich. The barn was probably abandoned at the time documentary sources give for the construction of the moat in 1262. A dump of several hundred decorated but broken floor tiles of 'Westminster' type were found in a small outbuilding attached to the bakery and brewhouse area. A small amount of 13th/14th century pottery was found in the clay floor of the building beneath the tiles (Ketteringham, 1977). (PastScape)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceTQ363480
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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Surrey (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 15
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 467
  • Payne, Gordon A., 1977, Surrey industrial archaeology: a field guide p. 46
  • Lambert, 1929, Godstone, a Parish History (privately published) p. 79-81
  • Malden, H.E. (ed), 1912, 'Parishes: Godstone' VCH Surrey Vol. 4 online transcription


  • Ketteringham, L., 1984, 'Excavations at Lagham Manor, South Godstone, Surrey (TQ 364481)' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 75 p. 235-249 online copy and [supplementary material >]
  • 1980, 'Archaeology in Surrey 1976-78' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 72 p. 240 online copy
  • Coulson, C., 1979, 'Structural Symbolism in Medieval Castle Architecture' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 132 p. 84 (reprinted in Liddiard, Robert (ed), 2016, Late Medieval Castles (Boydell Press) p. 199-220)
  • Ketteringham, L., 1977, Surrey Archaeological Society Bulletin Vol. 137 p. 7
  • Turner, D.J., 1977, 'Moated Sites in Surrey: a provisional List' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 71 p. 91 online copy
  • Ketteringham, L., 1976, Bourne Society Bulletin Vol. 86 p. 3
  • Saaler, M., 1974, Bourne Society Bulletin Vol. 76 p. 2
  • Ketteringham, L., 1974, Surrey Archaeological Society Bulletin Vol. 112 p. 10
  • 1976, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 20 p. 196-7 download copy
  • Malden, H.E., 1907, 'The earthworks at Lagham' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 20 p. 116-8 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1910, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry III (1258-66) Vol. 5 p. 199 online copy