Goodrest Lodge: a double moated site with fishponds
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1013158
Date first listed: 25-Feb-1971
Date of most recent amendment: 28-Jun-1995
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Warwick (District Authority)
Parish: Leek Wootton and Guy's Cliffe
National Grid Reference: SP 27315 68888
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.
Goodrest Lodge is a rare sub-category of this class of monument, a moated site and associated fishponds, both situated within a large moated enclosure. It functioned both as a retreat and a sporting centre closely linked with the Earls of Warwick. Partial excavation has indicated that the moated island retains valuable structural and artefactual evidence relating to the house which existed here. Additionally, environmental deposits will survive within the waterfilled sections of the moat ditches. The importance of the site is enhanced by the survival of written records and estate plans relating not only to the construction of the site, but also concerning the repairs and alterations which took place during its period in use.
The monument called Goodrest Lodge is situated south west of Goodrest
Farm, adjacent to the Cuttle Brook which flows west-east and includes a small
moated site, associated fishponds, and a large moated enclosure within which,
they are both situated.
The large moated enclosure has external dimensions of approximately 100m
square. It is defined along its southern side by the Cuttle Brook and to the
west and north by 9m wide ditches which were originally supplied with water
from the brook. The northern ditch is partly waterfilled, while the western
one is mostly dry. A small square moated site occupies much of the northern
and central parts of the large moated enclosure. The moat arms average 12m
wide and 3.5m deep and their inner faces are revetted with stone. At the north
eastern corner of the site, the moat is connected to the northern ditch of the
outer enclosure by a stone sluice. Access to the moated island is by means of
a sandstone ashlar bridge across the eastern arm of the moat. It has a paved
surface and is supported by two four-centred arches. The bridge, which is
Listed Grade II*, is thought to have been constructed in 1441; replacing a
timber bridge. It is included in the scheduling.
The moated island measures 32m square and has a relatively level surface.
Documentary references provide information about the construction and
appearance of the timber-framed manor house and the outbuildings which
originally occupied the moated island. A map of 1682, for example, provides
evidence that the house or lodge here was of three bays with two main floors
and rooms in the roof. During the 1920s an excavation within the moated island
recovered evidence of wall foundations and floors incorporating glazed and
decorated tiles. The house is recorded in 1609, 1615 and 1644 and cartographic
evidence indicates that, by the mid-18th century, only the western range and a
small part of the northern range remained standing.
The southern half of the large enclosure, south of the small square moated
site, is occupied by two fishponds. The larger, eastern pond is waterfilled,
while the western pond is now dry. They were originally connected by a sluice
and are thought to have been fish breeding tanks. A map of 1750 indicates that
the north western corner of the large moated enclosure was occupied by a small
rectangular building at this time. Although no longer visible on the ground
surface, it is thought to survive as a buried feature.
Goodrest Lodge was constructed within the north eastern part of Wedgnock Park,
an area of pasture, woodland and deerpark which belonged to the Warwick Castle
estate from the early 13th century. Documentary sources suggest that the site
was built by Thomas Beauchamp during the mid-14th century, and the name of
Goodrest is thought to derive from the site's use by Countesses of Warwick for
retirement during pregnancies. The site also provided a base for the Earls of
Warwick within Wedgnock Park and was a quiet retreat for them, their relatives
and friends and a centre for sporting activities.
All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these
features is included.
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: 21581
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Dugdale, W, The Antiquities of Warwickshire, (1733), 272
Tomlinson, M, The Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire, (1969), 467
Wilson, J, Survey of Wedgnock Park, (1682)
Sanders, S, 'Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeological Society' in Goodrest, , Vol. 49, (1923), 62
DOE, Buildings of Special Hist & Arch Interest,
Title: Wedgnock Estate Map Source Date: 1750 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Warwickshire County Record Office, MS 489-90, 2570-71,
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