Moated site at Aston Magna


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016081

Date first listed: 15-Jan-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Sep-1997


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Aston Magna
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Gloucestershire

District: Cotswold (District Authority)

Parish: Blockley

National Grid Reference: SP 20256 35609

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 known as Aston Magna Castle survives well and will contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to the moated site and the landscape in which it was constructed. There is evidence of related earthworks consisting of ridge and furrow, indicating medieval ploughing, surrounding the moated site. There is also documentary evidence to associate the site with a tenant in the medieval period.


The monument includes a moated site in a hilltop position in the Cotswolds on the east side of Aston Magna village. The site is traditionally known as Aston Magna Castle. The moated site includes a central flat area approximately 110m north-south and approximately 100m east-west, surrounded by a moat, with a part internal and an external bank. The central area is approximately 0.5m higher than the ground outside the moat and is uneven and pitted by quarrying. There are intermittent traces of an inner bank approximately 0.2m high particularly on the west side. The depression indicating the position of the moat can be seen on all sides except the north west where it is breached by the entrance. The moat varies in width between 10m and 16m, and is approximately 1m deep. The external bank is raised slightly at the south east corner, standing approximately 0.2m high, but for the whole circuit of the moat the external bank is spread, extending approximately 12m downslope to the south and 10m on the north and east sides. On the west side there are earthworks representing an entrance to the moated site which, at the north edge of the breach in the moat, extend approximately 20m westwards, and at the south breach extend 12m westwards. The site is thought to be connected with the Jordans, who were the tenants of the Bishop of Worcester in 1182. It has previously been reported that the site is surrounded by the ridge and furrow marks of medieval ploughing. All post and wire fences, three telegraph poles and their supports 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.


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

Legacy System number: 28849

Legacy System: RSM


Record No 375, Gloucestershire Sites and Monuments Record,

End of official listing