Moated site 300m east of Stourton Methodist Chapel


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016898

Date first listed: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 300m east of Stourton Methodist Chapel
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Warwickshire

District: Stratford-on-Avon (District Authority)

Parish: Stourton

County: Warwickshire

District: Stratford-on-Avon (District Authority)

Parish: Sutton-under-Brailes

National Grid Reference: SP 29841 37020


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 300m east of Stourton Methodist Chapel survives well as upstanding earthworks and buried remains, providing information upon the size and form of the moated site. Those areas of the moat and ponds which have been partially infilled will be expected to preserve information including evidence of the moat's construction and any alterations which occurred during its active history. The moat remains waterlogged and environmental deposits providing information about the ecosystem and agricultural regimes during the medieval period will be preserved. The survival of the associated fishpond complex and water management features will provide evidence of the wider setting of the moat.

The buried remains of buildings which survive on the island will provide evidence about the dates and methods of construction, occupation and demolition of the manor. They will also preserve artefactual information illustrating the social history of the site, including evidence about its occupants and their daily activities. Household remains will, in addition, provide a range of dating evidence as well as insights into the range of spheres of influence, social contacts and trading mechanisms of the inhabitants of the site throughout its history.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site and fishponds at Sutton under Brailes. The moat lies in the valley bottom immediately south of the River Stour and 400m to the south and downslope of the parish church.

The moat is compact, sub-rectangular and complete in its circuit, although it has become partially infilled over time. It is orientated east to west and measures approximately 180m by 90m overall. The arms of the moat are quite uniform measuring 6m to 10m across the top of the banks, except on the eastern side which measures up to 20m across. The moat appears to have been fed by a leat from the River Stour which enters in the north eastern angle. An outlet returns the flow to the river from the north western angle of the moat. The moat remains waterlogged, and the area is subject to periodic flooding. The interior of the moat island is raised 1m to 2m above surrounding ground levels with low, irregular earthworks, thought to be building remains, in the central third of the island. These are believed to represent the site of the main dwelling. Earthworks of a former fishpond survive in the south western corner visible as a small and irregular hollow orientated east to west and measuring approximately 20m by 25m and 1m to 2m deep. A leat connects the pond to the south west angle of the moat. The earthworks of further building remains survive in the north western and eastern portions of the island.

A bank or lip, rising 0.75m high by up to 2m wide, survives along the inner edge of the moat in the eastern third of the island, defining an area believed to be the site of the garden or court yard attached to the house. The interior of the island is dished and then rises to a small platform measuring 10m by 15m in the centre of the area. This is believed to mark the site of a building such as a dovecot or barn in the centre of the yard.

To the exterior of the eastern arm of the moat are the remnants of an extensive levelled platform, orientated north to south and measuring approximately 60m by 25m. This is believed to represent the site of other agricultural and ancillary buildings associated with the manor. To the exterior of the south eastern angle of the moat in the area between the River Stour and the parish boundary are earthworks believed to represent a large shallow fishpond. The fishpond is bounded on the west and south by banks and rising ground, on the east by the river and on the north by the platform adjacent to the moat. The fishpond is sub-rectangular and measures approximately 120m by 90m orientated north to south. There are the faint remains of a bank under 0.5m high at its northern end which may have retained the waters, separating them from the platform and moat.

The modern post and wire fences which surround the moat 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.


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

Legacy System number: 30040

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Mackenzie, I , 'Moated Sites Research Group' in The Moated sites of Warwickshire, (1986), 14

End of official listing