Slimbridge moated site, 70m south of The Old Rectory


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


Ordnance survey map of Slimbridge moated site, 70m south of The Old Rectory
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Stroud (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 74091 03571

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 Slimbridge survives well and will contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. Documentary and archaeological evidence relate to the use of this site from the 17th century onwards. Traces of medieval ploughing lie close to the moated site on its north, south and east sides, giving an indication of its setting in the medieval period.


The monument includes a moated site, lying in the valley of the River Severn. The moated site forms part of the garden of Slimbridge Rectory, adjacent to the churchyard on the east side of Slimbridge village. The moated site, aligned north west-south east, includes a central, uneven, oblong island c.65m long and c.30m wide surrounded by a moat. The moat now takes the form of an open ditch, except on the south east side, where it is infilled. The moat is 1.25m deep and varies in width from c.5.8m to c.10m. The site, said to be the location of a medieval manor house, is associated with the occupation of Slimbridge Rectory and Church by Parliamentarian troops in the Civil War. The Rector at that time, Mr N Richardson, was imprisoned in Gloucester under suspicion of being a Royalist spy, and later was returned to Slimbridge, where he died. Physical evidence of the Civil War association is present in the discovery of pistol balls in 1987. The moated site appears to have been landscaped in the 18th century as part of the Rectory garden. On the outer edge of the north east arm of the moat is a bank of earth of irregular width and height. This is divided into sections which converge on a wooden bridge across the moat. Corresponding to this, on the same arm of the moat, but on its inner side, is a stone revetment, c.1m high, which is so constructed that it can be seen from the Rectory. A red-brick wall with cement capping is set on the stone revetment on the inner side of the moat, and forms the edge of the island on that side. The wall appears to date from a period before the moat was infilled, since it follows the obvious line of its south east corner. Medieval ploughing, showing as ridge and furrow marks, lie close to the moated site in the fields to the north, south and east. A number of features within the area are excluded from the scheduling; these are the gravestones, incinerator, the boundary walls of `Sweet Charity' and a number of garden features, a brick wall, wooden bridge and stone revetment; the ground beneath all these features is, however, 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:
Legacy System:


Reverend Eric Charlesworth,
The Parish Church of St John the Evangelist Slymbridge Glouc.,


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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