Moated site immediately west of the Church of St Mary


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


Ordnance survey map of Moated site immediately west of the Church of St Mary
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wychavon (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 85955 66001

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 immediately west of St Mary's Church at Doverdale survives well as an example of a small medieval manorial moat, believed to have originated prior to the Norman Conquest. The island is expected to preserve evidence for former structures, including both domestic and ancillary buildings and their associated occupation levels. These remains will illustrate the nature and 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. The moat ditch will be expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence of its construction and any alterations during its active history.


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a moated site and associated earthworks, immediately west of the Church of St Mary at Doverdale. The monument is on undulating land 175m east of the Doverdale Brook which forms the boundary between the small parish of Doverdale and the adjoining Ombersley parish.

The manor is known to have been held by Thurbern, a thegn of King Edward the Confessor, from whom it passed shortly after the Norman Conquest to Urse D'Abitot before finally passing into the ownership of the lords of Elmley Castle in 1086. From 1086 however, the land was held from Elmley Castle by the de Doverdales. The moat is believed to be the site of their manor house which was destroyed by fire in 1850.

The moat is sub-rectangular in plan, with rounded corners, and encloses a level sub-circular island measuring approximately 34m by 46m. The moat ditch is dry except for a pond which projects from the southern edge of the ditch for approximately 15m and a waterlogged area in the south east corner. Access to the island was gained via a causeway in the centre of the western arm of the moat. Further earthworks to the south and east of the moat were recorded by M Aston in 1969 and included a hollow way from the east of the moat to the south west corner of the churchyard, which is enclosed by a revetted ditch. A rectangular enclosure measuring 40m by 80m containing a shallow depression in its south east corner, is located to the south east of the moat, south of the parish church. The enclosure is degraded and is not therefore included in the scheduling. Extending for 30m southwards from the south west angle of the moat ditch is a linear outcrop of sandstone with the remains of stone walling on part of it.

To the north west of the moat a quarry approximately 10m deep contains a ramp down to the quarry floor. It is not known whether the quarry has medieval origins or is associated with later industry, for example, the nearby post- medieval mill or the Victorian church rebuilding. For these reasons the quarry is 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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Light, H, The Victoria History of the County, (1913), 69
various, Record Cards, (1960)


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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