Pachenesham Magna, Leatherhead

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NamePachenesham Magna, Leatherhead
Alternative NamesThe Mounts
Historic CountrySurrey
Modern AuthoritySurrey
1974 AuthoritySurrey
Civil ParishLeatherhead

The site of a 12th-14th Century Moated Manor House, known as 'The Mounts'. Several phases of construction of the hall and other buildings are clearly represented, from the 12th century to dereliction c. 1350 or a little earlier. Excavation in 1949 explored the area within the moat: foundations of the Hall, part of the Chapel, a well and other structural remains of buildings, erected in 1290-91 by Sir Eustace de la Hache, were recovered and planned. Much stratified pottery and a number of small objects were found, but no coins. The well, lined with flint masonry in its upper part, was only partly cleared. Foundations of square masonry pillars adjoining the well must have served in raising the water, and show that it was fitted with a counter-balanced beam apparatus. (SHHER)

The Mounts includes a levelled platform on which buildings have been shown to have stood but also the earthworks which surround the platform, these comprising a complete circuit of moat and a length of embanking on the north-east side. Although no moat is visible on the steeply sloping south-east side, an area beyond the edge of the platform is included since excavation has demonstrated that a shallow moat does survive in this area too. Moated 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. Excavation has shown that, like most moated sites, the example in The Mounts was used in the later 13th century. It has also been shown, however, that an earlier building had occupied the site, around which the moat was dug during the 13th century. The moated site in The Mounts was short-lived: historical records show that by 1343 the manor was of little value, and by 1386 the main building had already been dismantled. The platform itself forms a rough oval in shape, and measures 45m by 30m

The slight moat on the south side has been obscured by soil creep from above, but it becomes more visible towards the north and reaches a maximum width of 21m. The unusual siting of the moat leaves a natural outer bank which is enhanced on the north-east side by an additional earthen bank 25m long and 4m wide. (Scheduling Report)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ154578
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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of Surrey (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 19
  • Aberg, F.A. (ed), 1978, Medieval moated sites (CBA Research Report 17) p. 39 online copy
  • 1961, Ancient Monuments of England and Wales (M.O.W.) p. 86


  • 1990, 'Archaeology in Surrey 1988-1989' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 80 p. 206 online copy
  • Lowther, A.W.G. (edited by Derek Renn), 1983, 'Pachenesham, Leatherhead; the excavation of the moated site known as "The Mounts"' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 74 p. 1-46 online copy and [supplementary >]
  • 1980, Bulletin of the Surrey Archaeological Society Vol. 169
  • 1968, Bulletin of the Surrey Archaeological Society Vol. 46 p. 2-3
  • Ruby, A.T., 1957, 'The Manor of Pachenesham, Leatherhead' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 55 p. 7-17 online copy
  • 1954, 'Report of the Council for 1949 and 1952' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 53 p. xi-xii online copy
  • 1950, 'Report of Proceedings 1949' Surrey Archaeological Collections Vol. 51 p. xii-xiii online copy
  • Lowther, A.W.G., 1948, 'The Mounts, Pachesham:Second Interim Report on Excavations, 19th July-21st August, 1948' Proceedings of the Leatherhead and District Local History Society Vol. 1.2 p. 5-10
  • Lowther, A.W.G., 1947, 'The Mounts, Pachesham Park : Interim Report on Excavations, September, 1947' Proceedings of the Leatherhead and District Local History Society Vol. 1.1 p. 6-11


  • Surrey County Council, 2006, Extensive Urban Survey - Surrey (English Heritage) Download copy