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Moated site at Court House Farm

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Moated site at Court House Farm

List entry Number: 1014538


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: County of Herefordshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Pembridge

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 04-Dec-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jul-1996

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27494

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

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.

The moated site at Court House Farm is in good condition, with little modern disturbance, and survives well both as earthwork and below ground remains. The platform area will retain evidence of the original buildings and/or activities that took place there, allowing the original and any subsequent uses of the site to be understood. Material that has accumulated in the ditch since its construction will preserve environmental evidence for activity at and around the moat and, due to waterlogging, it is likely that organic remains survive. Evidence for structures such as a bridge will also be preserved by these ditch fills, or buried in the infilled parts of the western and southern ditches.

Court House Farm moat is a well preserved example of a class of monument which occurs less frequently in this part of the county than further east. When viewed alongside other examples in the region it increases our understanding of the social organisation of the county in the medieval period. Its proximity to St Mary's Church may indicate that its owners were associated with the reconstruction and refurbishment of the church and its famous timber bell-tower; the 12th century core of the tower may even be contemporary with the creation of the moat. The construction of Court House in the 17th century illustrates the continuation of lordly occupation at the site into the post- medieval period. These associations further enhance interest in the moated site itself.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated site, situated on the southern edge of Pembridge village, on ground which slopes gently northwards towards the River Arrow. The moat itself was originally D-shaped; its straight western arm was infilled in the 17th century and is now partly occupied by the house and outbuildings of Court House Farm. The monument is bounded to the north by St Mary's churchyard, and to the east and south by pasture fields. The monument measures a maximum of 77m north-south, and 81m west-east. The moated platform is now used as a garden area for the farm, and is planted with apple and hazel trees. The moat ditch is steep sided and up to 5m deep, with a growth of brambles and trees (mostly elderberry and young elm), which has been cleared in some areas. Averaging 15m in width, the moat is damp and water-filled in places to a depth of 0.4m. The west end of the southern arm was infilled in the 1960s to provide access from the platform to the farmland to the south; a gate now divides the two areas. A stone wall marks the western extent of this arm prior to its infilling. A box hedge divides the platform from the courtyard area to the south of the house. In the north west quarter, east and north east of the farmhouse, the line of the infilled western moat arm is indicated by a distinct slope, currently supporting a rockery, which descends from the platform to another area of garden. A brick wall divides this area from the churchyard at the north west corner, continuing eastwards as a dry stone wall supporting the northern edge of the moat ditch for c.10m. A wooden fence marks the outer edge of the moat ditch on the church side, with a gate through into the field in the north east quarter through which the public footpath continues, now unsurfaced. There is a wooden fence across the eastern arm of the moat itself. It is thought that the infilling of the western ditch and the construction of Court House Farm in the 17th century marked the point when the principal residence was moved away from the moated platform. Prior to its 18th century modifications the house would have been similar to many buildings in Pembridge, almost all of which are timber-framed, including the fine timber market hall at its centre, which is the subject of a separate scheduling.

All fences and gates around and across the monument, the walls at the north west and south west corners of the moat, the churchyard footpath, the house and gravelled courtyard surface, the rockery, and all farmbuildings and ancillary structures are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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.

Selected Sources

Richardson, R E, FMW report, AM107, (1979)

National Grid Reference: SO 39079 58007


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This copy shows the entry on 20-Sep-2018 at 05:14:05.

End of official listing