Nickless moat


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Nickless moat
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 62966 72607

Reasons for Designation

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches, often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

Nickless moated site is of uncommon oval plan and is undisturbed. It retains considerable potential for the survival of archaeological and environmental remains.


Nickless moat lies 250m to the south-west of Nickless and is located about 1km west-south-west of the village of Milson. The moated site is oval in shape and measures 100m north-south by 60m east-west. The moat ditch averages 5m in width and is 2.5m deep on all sides except the west where it is 1m deep. Much of the ditch is water-logged. There are traces of an outer bank, 0.5m high and 1.5m wide, on the south-west corner and on the east side of the ditch. A causeway 2.5m wide crosses the moat ditch on the north-west corner providing access to the island. On the western side of the island is a water-logged depression, 15m in diameter, and this may be the site of a small fishpond. In the north-west corner of the island, and along the east side, raised platforms indicate the positions of former buildings. Nickless is considered to be an early homestead moat. It is an isolated site not situated close to known contemporary settlement. The location may be attributed to woodland clearance during a period of agricultural expansion in the area.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Wilson, D, Moated Sites, (1985)
Watson, M D, 'West Midlands Archaeology' in Medieval Moated Sites in Shropshire, , Vol. 24, (1981)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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