Wychnor deserted medieval village, moated site, moated enclosure and two fishponds


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009032

Date first listed: 19-Jan-1970

Date of most recent amendment: 23-Oct-1992


Ordnance survey map of Wychnor deserted medieval village, moated site, moated enclosure and two fishponds
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Staffordshire

District: East Staffordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Wychnor

National Grid Reference: SK 17509 15748, SK 17563 16207, SK 17825 16447, SK 17877 16284


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The village, comprising a small group of houses, gardens, yards, streets, paddocks, often with a green, a manor and a church, and with a community devoted primarily to agriculture, was a significant component of the rural landscape in most areas of medieval England, much as it is today. Villages provided some services to the local community and acted as the main focal point of ecclesiastical, and often of manorial, administration within each parish. Although the sites of many of these villages have been occupied continuously down to the present day, many others declined in size or were abandoned throughout the medieval and post-medieval periods, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. As a result over 2000 deserted medieval villages are recorded nationally. The reasons for desertion were varied but often reflected declining economic viability, changes in land use such as enclosure or emparkment, or population fluctuations as a result of widespread epidemics such as the Black Death. As a consequence of their abandonment these villages are frequently undisturbed by later occupation and contain well-preserved archaeological deposits. Because they are a common and long-lived monument type in most parts of England, they provide important information on the diversity of medieval settlement patterns and farming economy between the regions and through time.

The monument at Wychnor survives well and is a rare example in Staffordshire of a juxtaposed deserted medieval village, moated site, moated enclosure and fishponds. The site remains largely unencumbered by modern development and the deserted medieval village will contain remains of house plots and field and property boundaries, thus affording an opportunity for interpreting the function of the buildings and the arrangement of the settlement. Despite some damage to the north-western sides of the moated site and adjacent moated enclosure, the moated site will retain considerable archaeological evidence of the manor house known to have existed here during the mid-12th century.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes Wychnor deserted medieval village, the moated site of Wychnor Hall, an adjacent moated enclosure and two fishponds. It is divided into 4 separate constraint areas. The central and eastern parts of the deserted medieval village display hollow ways bounded by raised platforms that were the tofts and crofts of the inhabitants. To the north are banks, ditches, and other raised platforms while to the west are the banks and ditches of field boundaries with ridge and furrow. South of this are other field boundaries and earthworks. To the south of the deserted medieval village is the moated site of Wychnor Hall, the north-western part of which has been destroyed by the Trent and Mersey canal. It survives as a raised platform surrounded on three sides by a dry moat 7m wide and 1m deep. An outer bank up to 19m wide flanks the south-east arm but reduces to 10m wide adjacent to the north-east arm. An outlet channel issues from the eastern corner of the moat. South of the moated site is a moated enclosure, likewise partly destroyed on its north-western side by the canal, but surviving as a raised platform surrounded by a dry moat 5m wide and 1.4m deep. An inner bank 7m wide runs along the perimeter of the platform. Within the moated enclosure, at its northern end, are two dry fishponds. An outlet channel connects the south-western arm of the moated enclosure to a channel that drains into the nearby River Trent.

Wychnor Hall moated site was in the hands of the Somervilles by 1164 and later passed by marriage to the Griffiths in 1328. The house had been demolished by 1535.

All field boundaries, outbuildings and footpaths are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


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

Legacy System number: 22436

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1987)
Dennison, E, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1987)
In Staffs SMR Ref No 4009, Pickering, J (Copyright), Wychnor AP Ref 1716/12, (1964)
In Staffs SMR Ref No 918, Meeson, RA, Wychnor DMV,
SMR No 918, Staffs SMR, Wychnor Hall: Wychnor,
To Robinson, K D MPPFW, Goodwin, J (Site owner), (1991)

End of official listing