Moated site immediately east of the Church of St Peter


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016477

Date first listed: 26-Oct-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site immediately east of the Church of St Peter
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Nov-2018 at 15:55:52.


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

County: Worcestershire

District: Wychavon (District Authority)

Parish: Rous Lench

National Grid Reference: SP 01539 53312


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 Rous Lench survives as a largely undisturbed and well preserved example of a medieval moated site. The island will preserve evidence of former structures, including both domestic and ancillary buildings and their associated occupation levels. It is believed that late Saxon occupation levels may also be preserved below the medieval remains providing evidence for settlement continuity and change over time. The earthwork and buried remains will preserve artefactual and environmental material illustrating the nature of use of the site and the lifestyle of its inhabitants in addition to providing evidence which will facilitate the dating of the construction and subsequent periods of use of the moat.

In addition, the waterlogged condition of the moat will preserve environmental information about the ecosystem, environment and landscape in which it was set.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site at Rous Lench situated immediately to the east of the Church of St Peter and 400m north east of Rous Lench Court. The village of Rous Lench is one of a number of closely spaced villages collectively known as `The Lenches'. The manor of `Lenc' is recorded in 1062 when it was acquired by the church of Worcester and it is likely that the moat may contain occupation levels prior to this date. The name of the village `Rous Lench' derives from the names of the lords of the manor. In about 1175 Randolph de Lench was recorded as having paid 40 marks for pardon for trespass in the Royal Forest of Feckenham whilst the remainder of the name was acquired following the sale of the manor to John Rous in 1387.

The moat ditch is waterlogged and approximately 6m wide by 1m to 2m deep. A sluice is situated in the north west corner, and 10m to the east of the sluice is an irregular projection of the moat to the north measuring approximately 10m by 15m, believed to be for watering stock. The moat ditch encloses a 94m by 76m island which is one of the largest such moat islands in the area. The island is now entered from the north east corner across a silted portion of the ditch, however, there is no evidence of the original entrance. The island is undisturbed and contains a number of earthwork features including an internal bank approximately 10m wide by 0.5m to 1m high which is evident on all four sides. Within this bank is an `L' shaped central depression approximately 6m wide by 1m deep which is thought to be the site of the former manor house. The southern arm of the depression runs from west to east for approximately 14m, from which point it runs north for approximately 32m. There is a shallow hollow way leading from the south eastern corner of the moat towards Rous Lench Court, but this is not included in the scheduling.

To the south of the moat are very indistinct earthworks believed to represent medieval settlement. These remains have become badly degraded over time and are also not included in the scheduling.

All modern fencing is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it 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: 31955

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County, (1913), 498,499
HBMC Schedule, (1987)
Record Cards, (1989)

End of official listing