Moated site and medieval settlement remains at Throckmorton


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016938

Date first listed: 29-Oct-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and medieval settlement remains at Throckmorton
© 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.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016938 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 17:33:00.


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

County: Worcestershire

District: Wychavon (District Authority)

Parish: Throckmorton

National Grid Reference: SO 98034 49431, SO 98125 49780, SO 98256 49434


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

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the last 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Cotswold Scarp and Vales sub-Province of the Central Province, a scarp and vale landscape extending south eastwards from the clays and alluvium of the Severn Plain, over the limestones of the Cotswolds to the Oxford Clay Vale. Villages and hamlets concentrate thickly in the Severn Valley and the Vale of Pewsey, but are only moderately dense elsewhere. They are most thinly scattered on the higher ridge of the north east Cotswolds, an area where in 1851 there were low populations and frequent deserted villages. Overall, there are very low concentrations of dispersed farmsteads, the only exceptions being the Vale of Pewsey and the Upper Avon and Thames watershed. The Severn Plain local region contrasts markedly with the main limestone scarp of the Cotswolds. It contains large numbers of villages and hamlets founded in the Middle Ages; only a small proportion of these have since been depopulated. Domesday Book indicates that the area was particularly densely populated in 1086, when very little woodland remained there.

Medieval villages were organised agricultural communities, sited at the centre of a parish or township, that shared resources such as arable land, meadow and woodland. Village plans varied enormously, but when they survive as earthworks their most distinguishing features include roads and minor tracks, platforms on which stood houses and other buildings such as barns, enclosed crofts and small enclosed paddocks. They frequently included the parish church within their boundaries, and as part of the manorial system most villages included one or more manorial centres which may also survive as visible remains as well as below ground deposits. In the Central Province of England, villages were the most distinctive aspect of medieval life, and their archaeological remains are one of the most important sources of understanding about rural life in the five or more centuries following the Norman Conquest. Ridge and furrow cultivation remains are the remnants of a communal system of agriculture based on large, unenclosed arable fields. These large fields were subdivided into strips (known as lands) which were allocated to individual tenants. The cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs pulled by oxen teams produced long, wide ridges and the resultant `ridge and furrow' where it survives is the most obvious indication of the open field system. Well- preserved ridge and furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to settlement earthworks, as at Throckmorton, is both an important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive contribution to the character of the landscape. The settlement remains at Throckmorton will provide evidence for daily medieval life, as well as its agricultural system and economy. In particular the relationship of the remains with the two known manorial sites is of interest. Throckmorton is rare in having late Saxon documentary evidence for the existence of three main land holders, possibly suggesting that there were three manorial sites in the vicinity. Some late Saxon occupation levels may be expected to survive beneath the later medieval settlement levels providing evidence for settlement development and continuity over time. Throckmorton provides an excellent example of the growth and decline of settlement sites in the area, containing evidence for Saxon, Norman, medieval and post-medieval settlement within the setting of a living modern community. These patterns of settlement provide an insight into the development of a rural community over time. The abundance of water features such as ponds and moats, provide evidence for medieval land management methods in the badly drained claylands. The ponds will provide in their waterlogged deposits, environmental and climatic evidence for Throckmorton's occupation. In addition the ponds at Court Farm will provide, through their probable use as fishponds, evidence for the economy and subsistence of the manor's inhabitants. The later utilisation of the ponds as an ornamental garden setting for the house will provide evidence of their adaptation and for the continuing status of the Throckmorton family. Moated sites 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. Moated sites were, however, 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. The moated site north east of Throckmorton church survives as a well-preserved and largely undisturbed example of a medieval manorial moat preserved alongside associated settlement and cultivation remains. The island will preserve evidence of former structures, including both domestic and ancillary buildings and their associated occupation levels. These remains will illustrate 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. It is expected that evidence for the earliest occupation of Throckmorton, in the late Saxon period will be preserved below the medieval occupation layers. The moat ditch can be expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence for its construction and any alterations in its active history. In addition, the waterlogged condition of the moat will preserve information about the environment, ecosystem 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 and medieval settlement remains of Throckmorton in three areas of protection. The monument is situated on high ground approximately five kilometres to the north east of Pershore and lies on heavy clay. The village of Throckmorton is not mentioned in the Domesday survey, being a chapelry of Fladbury parish until 1974, although it is mentioned as having three `mansae' in a charter from around 1020 of Wulfstan, Archbishop of Worcester and York. It is therefore believed to have been well established prior to the Norman Conquest. The settlement at Throckmorton contracted during the medieval period, but there was an increase in population in the post-medieval period, resulting in new settlement in the centre of the village. The medieval settlement is believed to have been focussed on a double row of planned closes running north to south, parallel to the line of Long Lane with unplanned post-medieval occupation remains occupying the area to the south and east of the church. The modern village occupies the areas mainly to the north west and north east of the medieval and post-medieval settlement. The first area of protection is located immediately to the north east, east, and south of the church. It includes the moated site, (believed to be the original manorial site) settlement and ridge and furrow cultivation remains. Both the church and the churchyard are in use and are not therefore included in the scheduling. The moat, which is located to the north east of the church, is water-filled and measures, for the most part, approximately 4m to 6m wide by 1m to 2m deep. The southern arm has, however, been widened to approximately 10m to 14m, probably for use as a sheepdip. Water is supplied at the north east corner by a leat leading from the stream which runs parallel to the southern arm, and drains into the stream at the south west corner. Access to the moat island, which is approximately 0.5m higher than the surrounding land on the west side, is via a modern steel bridge in the south west corner. This bridge is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. The island measures 62m by 34m and is trapezoidal in shape, being wider at its southern end. The island is generally level, although it is reported that building stones have been found at a depth of approximately 0.5m below the present surface of the island. To the south and east of the church are further earthworks which represent medieval and post-medieval settlement remains and ridge and furrow cultivation remains. Immediately to the east of the church is a building platform believed to be the remains of a post-medieval timber-framed cottage which was demolished in 1940. To the east of this are at least two further building platforms and a large artificially hollowed area which is bordered to the south by a hollow way. Lying to the south of these features are medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains, whilst to the south and south west of the church are further ridge and furrow remains, which are interrupted by irregular low earthworks consisting of a number of platforms and banks and ditches believed to represent deposits relating to post-medieval settlement. To the south west of the ridge and furrow, bordered to the west by Long Lane and to the south by Bishampton Road, are a further series of irregular building platforms, on which stone foundations were recorded in 1989, enclosures, and hollow ways. These earthworks are believed to represent the northern area of the double row of planned closes running north to south along the line of Long Lane, and include a large platform approximately 28m by 36m which has in the past been utilised as an orchard, as well as a hollow way approximately 8m wide by 1m to 2m deep located in the close at the south west corner, by the parish hall. The hollow way runs approximately 15m east to west, beyond which it has been infilled, and north to south for approximately 20m. On the east side of Long Lane in the vicinity of Court Farm, regular enclosures of approximately 60m by 40m and hollow ways as well as a small moated site approximately 60m by 34m were recorded to the north of Court Farm. These earthworks are now very degraded and the moated site has been almost completely infilled: they are not therefore included in the scheduling. The second area of protection is located to the west of Long Lane and south of Lower House Farm, and includes the earthwork remains of the westernmost area of the medieval settlement. Beyond this lie ridge and furrow cultivation remains which are not included in the scheduling. The settlement remains include the earthwork and buried remains of house platforms, enclosures, hollow ways and ponds believed to represent the western row of the main medieval settlement. In the north western part of this area and south west of Lower House Farm, bounded to the west by Pershore airfield and to the north by the ridge and furrow cultivation remains, is an enclosure measuring 40m by 24m, which is defined to the north and south by hollow ways approximately 4m wide by 0.5m to 1m deep. To the east of this feature is a 16m by 24m pond which has, to its north, further earthworks including a number of house platforms. To the south of the pond are other earthworks including at least one house platform measuring 16m by 24m. South of the enclosure, bounded to the west by Pershore airfield and to the east by the rear gardens of `College Row' is a small area of medieval ridge and furrow cultivation and a pond, approximately 8m by 18m, which has been truncated at its eastern end by infilling for the gardens of `College Row'. South east of this area, irregular earthwork settlement remains include banks, ditches, at least one house platform and an irregularly shaped pond. It is recorded that a smithy and a post-medieval cottage stood in these fields until they were demolished in 1940. Located to the east of Long Lane is the third area of protection which includes further medieval settlement remains and ponds to the south and south west of Court Farm. Court Farm contains the oldest secular buildings in Throckmorton. These consist of Throckmorton Court, a timber-framed medieval manor house with surviving hall and solar built around 1500 and a timber-framed barn of the same date incorporating reused timbers. The western service bay of Throckmorton Court has been demolished. Throckmorton Court and the barn, Listed Grade II* and Grade II respectively, are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. South of Throckmorton Court are two linear ponds, the easternmost running for 80m east to west and having an extension 20m from the west end which runs northwards for 40m. This extension formerly ran for at least 70m and enclosed the house on its eastern side. The western pond runs south for 60m from the point where it lies adjacent to the eastern pond. This pond also used to extend to the north for at least 38m and may have enclosed the house on its western side. The former extension to this pond is visible as a dry earthwork hollow. It is believed that these ponds originally formed a moated, or semi-moated, enclosure for an earlier building and were extended for use as fishponds before finally being ornamentalised as part of the setting for Throckmorton Court. Some traces of banks around the ponds are believed to represent formal walkways from this later use. To the south west of Court Farm are more earthwork remains of the medieval settlement which are believed to represent its southern extent. These survive as a continuation of the enclosures bordering Long Lane on its eastern side and contain at least three house platforms varying in size from 15m by 20m to 8m by 10m with at least five enclosures varying in size from 20m by 90m to 20m by 40m. Throckmorton Court, the timber-framed barn, all modern buildings, the metal bridge, fencing and surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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: 31946

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County, (1913), 352
Bond, C J, Throckmorton, (1970)
Cocroft, C, Throckmorton, Med and Post-Med Village Shrinkage, (1989)
Hughes, L, Field-walking and Surveying the SMV of Throckmorton, (1996)
Hughes, L, Field-walking and Surveying the SMV of Throckmorton, (1996)
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County, (1913), 352
Bond, C.J., Provisional List of Moats in Worcestershire, (1972)
Cocroft, W, Half timbered manor house....with ornamental ponds, (1989)
SMR Records, (1960)
SO94SE 1, Cocroft, W., Moat, (1989)
Title: Ordnance Survey 6" Source Date: 1955 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
various, (1960)

End of official listing