WEALDEN MP Nus Ghani says the historic moat at Michelham Priory must be restored.

She has visited Michelham Priory to support its 175th birthday fundraiser and to learn more about the issues surrounding its unique moat.

Michelham Priory is situated in the beautiful countryside of Upper Dicker, near Hailsham.

It boasts Britain’s longest continual medieval water-filled moat, which stretches a mile and encircles its site.

However, due to gradual silt deposition and increasing invasive growth of aquatic plants, the moat has been deteriorating.

The loss of available water in the moat has archaeological and environmental ramifications.

It has also made the watermill, which has stood on the site since at least early fifteenth century, inoperable.

Large amounts of vegetation were removed in 2013 and 2014 to prevent an environmental crisis, but the fundamental problem remains.

The moat has to be de-silted imminently or it will be completely lost.
 
Nus will raise the issue with the Minister for Sports, Heritage and Tourism and with the Environment Agency, to address the significant conservation and maintenance needs at the site.

She said: “Michelham Priory is a wonderful piece of history and I am proud that Wealden is the home of the UK’s longest medieval water-filled moat.

“It is absolutely vital that the moat is restored and the watermill operational again. 

“I fully support the Michelham Priory moat restoration project and will raise the issue with the Minister for Sports, Heritage and Tourism and with the Environment Agency.
 
“Sussex Archaeological Society plays a vital role in preserving the rich history of Sussex and in driving forward archaeological research in the region.

“Despite the devastating impact of Covid-19, the historical sites are a vital part of the cultural fabric of Sussex and local economy.

“The Society’s 175th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to celebrate its achievements and help it to continue to champion the area’s cultural heritage for many years to come.”