Double moated site 60m east of Baxterley church

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014683

Date first listed: 18-Apr-1979

Date of most recent amendment: 01-Aug-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Double moated site 60m east of Baxterley church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Warwickshire

District: North Warwickshire (District Authority)

Parish: Baxterley

National Grid Reference: SP 25689 97022

Summary

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 east of Baxterley church is a rare sub-category of this class of monument; only a few examples of double moated sites are known in Warwickshire. It survives well and the short-lived occupation of the site together with the lack of modern development will ensure that early archaeological deposits will survive undisturbed at the site. Part excavation has indicated that the two moated islands retain structural and artefactual evidence for the buildings which originally existed here, allowing an insight into the structural development and the character of occupation. Additionally, organic deposits will be preserved within the naturally silted moat ditches providing information on the economy of the site's inhabitants and the environment in which they lived. The interest of the site is enhanced by its close proximity to the 12th century church which stands alongside it within the same clearly defined area of land.

History

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

Details

The centre of the monument is situated approximately 60m to the east of Baxterley church, and includes a double moated site. The site has two square moated islands with the smaller one set to the north west of the larger. The whole site has external dimensions of approximately 70m north west-south east and 48m north east-south west. The steep-sided moat ditches are now dry and average 10m wide and up to 5m deep. Some modern dumping has occurred within the central section of the north eastern moat ditch but this infilled section will survive as a buried feature and is included in the scheduling. The western moated island shares a continuous ditch with the eastern moated island along the south western side. As the western island is smaller, however, the north eastern moat arm dog-legs to the south and west to contain it. This dog-leg is marked on the 1888 Ordnance Survey map, suggesting that it is an original feature of the moated site. A 7m wide external bank runs alongside the south western moat arm and is believed to have served as a retaining bank to hold water within the moat ditches. There is no visible evidence for the original access onto the moated islands but part excavation and a detailed survey of the site have indicated that access onto the eastern island was via a bridge across the south eastern arm of the moat, and that the two islands themselves were connected by a further bridge. A second access point onto the islands was identified across the northern end of the south western moat arm. This would have provided easier access to the parish church. The western moated island measures 16m square and will retain buried deposits associated with its occupation and use, although no earthworks are visible on the surface. The eastern island is 26m north west-south east and 22m north east-south west and was partly excavated in 1977 when fragments of roofing tile, a corroded axe and a brass bowl were recovered. Documentary records indicate that the site was occupied by one of the manor houses of Baxterley and was constructed in c.1343 only to be abandoned several years later. Its location immediately to the east of Baxterley church indicates that a relationship between the 12th century church and the double moated site is highly likely and the two are situated within a single area of land defined by Hipsey Lane to the north and east, and by a former trackway alongside the church to the east. The animal pen within the south western moat ditch, the oil storage tank and 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 21618

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Fretwell, L, 'West Midlands Archaeological Newsletter (CBA Group 8)' in Baxterley Moat, , Vol. 20, (1977), 92

End of official listing