Moated site 60m south west of Old Court Farm, Hemhill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014883

Date first listed: 15-May-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 01-Aug-1996


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 60m south west of Old Court Farm, Hemhill
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Lugwardine

National Grid Reference: SO 55027 41269


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 Hemhill survives well as both earthwork and below ground remains. The moated platform will retain evidence for the medieval buildings which occupied it, including post holes, and for the activities which took place there, allowing the original and any subsequent uses of the site to be dated and understood. Material that has accumulated in the ditch since its construction will preserve environmental evidence for activity at and around the moat. Evidence for structures such as a bridge will also be preserved by these ditch fills, or buried in the infilled parts of the northern and eastern arms of the ditch. The counterscarp bank will retain evidence for its construction and for any defensive barrier which may have surmounted it. In addition, the old ground surface sealed beneath it will preserve evidence for land use immediately prior to the construction of the monument.

When viewed alongside other examples in the region the moated site at Hemhill assists our understanding of the social organisation of the county in the medieval period, and the close relationship between the moated site and Old Court Farm illustrates the continuation of lordly occupation in this vicinity into the post-medieval period.


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 gently sloping ground in the centre of the village of Hemhill. The moat was originally roughly square in plan, with sides 93m long. Its north east corner has been infilled, and is now partly occupied by the garden of Old Court Farm, however the ditch here will survive as a buried feature, and a fall in ground level at the south end of the garden gives an indication of its original extent. An artificially straightened stream now runs south east-north west across this infilled section, from a pond which has been extended north westwards onto the edge of the infilled area. To the south the moat is partly bordered by a graveyard, and to the north west by private gardens. In the north west corner the ground drops away sharply beyond the moat to the stream below. The moat ditch is now dry and is up to 18m wide. Its south west and south east corners are squared and very distinct and the southern arm of the ditch averages 2m deep. The west and east arms become gradually shallower further north. The southern half of the eastern arm is visible as a depression, flanked by a low external bank. Further north the ditch is infilled and the extension of the pond has removed the external bank in the north east corner. In the south east corner of the moated enclosure is a slightly raised platform supporting thicker grass growth than elsewhere, roughly square in plan, and measuring c.10m by 10m. This feature represents the remains of a building which dates from the medieval occupation of the site, and further evidence for its construction and function will survive below ground. Similar indications of structural remains have been recorded elsewhere on the platform in the past. The moated site forms part of the wider picture of medieval occupation of Herefordshire, and the proximity of Old Court Farm illustrates the continuity of lordly occupation in the vicinity. The drainage inspection covers, all fences and gates around and across the monument, the telegraph pole in the south east corner, and the sluice across the north east corner, are excluded from the scheduling, however 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: 27523

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Edmundson, , Lugwardine in the nineteenth century, (1994)

AM12, Richardson, R, (1979)
IAM comment on FMW report, TLJ, (1952)

End of official listing