A Parson’s Moat

East Sussex country house for sale; it comes complete with an enormous rectangular moat allegedly dug by an eccentric parson in the 1700s


One generally associates moats with castles and manor houses – such as the one we featured last month – but an old rectory currently for sale for £5 million ($6.3 million or €5.9 million or درهم‎‎23.2 million) in East Sussex comes with an especially impressive ground water-fed, rectangular example complete with three timber footbridges.


Chailey Moat, Chailey Green, East Sussex, United Kingdom, BN8 4DA
The house in Victorian times with the Reverend Thomas Harry Lee Jellicoe outside with his servants circa 1900
This fireplace is one of the most stunning and historic features internally
It is situated within this reading room
Another view of the main house shows the size of the moat


Previously marketed for £3.5 million ($4.4 million or €4.1 million or درهم‎‎16.2 million) in 2007 but not sold at that time, Grade II listed Chailey Moat at Chailey Green, near Haywards Heath in East Sussex dates to around 1540 and was previously known as ‘The Parsonage’. It blends Tudor, Carolean, Elizabethan and Georgian elements and is centred on an original timber framed medieval structure hidden by later additions. The south-eastern façade is described by selling agents Savills as “most striking” and amongst other unusual features are a Venetian window on the first floor and a brick fireplace in a reading room with an intricately carved overmantel that allegedly came from part of a Charles I bedstead.


Aside from a 6,146 square foot main house with 5 reception rooms and upto 8 bedrooms over three floors, there is a 398 square foot 1 bedroom cottage and a 4 bedroomed, 17th century barn conversion that extends to 807 square foot and also provides a substantial games room.


Gardens and grounds extend to 43.76 acres and aside from the moat – which was allegedly singlehandedly dug by the Reverend Richard Porter, rector from 1713 to 1753 – there is also a enclosed tennis court, an outdoor swimming pool, a stream fed lake, a productive orchard and rolling pastureland.


Chailey Moat is offered by Savills and was described by Country Life’s Penny Churchill as a “mansion of peace” in June this year. In October, the medieval property’s current owner, businessman Andrew Colin, described its idyllic setting to The Times. “It’s like sitting in the middle of a nature reserve”, he said.


The dining hall
The drawing room
The staircase dates from the 18th century
The kitchen has a four-oven AGA
This barn conversion provides ideal staff or guest accommodation and beyond it is a full-sized tennis court
A lake is situated within the grounds
Whilst extensive lawned gardens extend out across the moat
Another view of the gardens
A floor plan of the main house
Floor plans of the barn conversion, cottage and outbuildings
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  1. Sorry to be so 2016, but where does one shelter the car? And if it’s a fair distance away from the accommodation, how does one not get soaking wet in the rain? Will one’s butler carry one across his manly shoulders?


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