Earthworks SE of Lower Ashton Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1003535

Date first listed: 12-Feb-1958

Map

Ordnance survey map of Earthworks SE of Lower Ashton Farm
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Eye, Moreton and Ashton

National Grid Reference: SO 51731 64270

Summary

Fortified house, 290m north east of North Lodge.

Reasons for Designation

Fortified houses were residences belonging to some of the richest and most powerful members of society. Their design reflects a combination of domestic and military elements. In some instances, the fortifications may be cosmetic additions to an otherwise conventional high status dwelling, giving a military aspect while remaining practically indefensible. They are associated with individuals or families of high status and their ostentatious architecture often reflects a high level of expenditure. The nature of the fortification varies, but can include moats, curtain walls, a gatehouse and other towers, gun ports and crenellated parapets. Their buildings normally included a hall used as communal space for domestic and administrative purposes, kitchens, service and storage areas. In common with castles, some fortified houses had outer courts beyond the main defences in which stables, brew houses, granaries and barns were located. Fortified houses were constructed in the medieval period, primarily between the 15th and 16th centuries, although evidence from earlier periods, such as the increase in the number of licences to crenellate in the reigns of Edward I and Edward II, indicates that the origins of the class can be traced further back. They are found primarily in several areas of lowland England: in upland areas they are outnumbered by structures such as bastles and tower houses which fulfilled many of the same functions. They are rare with fewer than 200 identified examples.

The fortified house 290m north east of North Lodge survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the construction, development and layout of the fortified house, its social, political and economic significance, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.

Details

This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 May 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes a fortified house situated on the gentle north facing slope of a ridge overlooking the valley of a tributary to the Brimfield Brook. The fortified house survives as an irregular shaped platform standing up to 3m high defined by a scarp or partly buried outer ditch or moat to the north and east. On the platform are two mounds the first is up to 24m long by 20m wide and defined by a small bank and ditch the second to the south is circular, 13.7m in diameter and 1.2m high which partial excavations by Woolhope showed to be the foundations of a circular tower. Further banks are thought to represent the site of truncated curtain walls. It has been suggested the fortified house originally had concentric enclosures. The house belonged to the Cornwell family.

Further archaeological remains survive in the vicinity but are not included in the scheduling because they have not been formally assessed.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: HE 82

Legacy System: RSM - OCN

Sources

Other
PastScape 110879, Herefordshire SMR 346

End of official listing