Sillenhurst moated site and fishpond


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017005

Date first listed: 27-Sep-1999


Ordnance survey map of Sillenhurst moated site and fishpond
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 13:33:55.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Woore

National Grid Reference: SJ 72495 42740


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.

Sillenhurst moated site and the adjoining fishpond survive well despite some modification to the water management system. The moated island will retain structural and artefactual evidence of the buildings that once stood on the site, which together with the artefacts and organic remains surviving in the moat will provide valuable information about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains surviving in the moat will also provide information about the changes to the local environment and use of the land. The association of the moated site and the fishpond is important in providing further evidence about the economy and lifestyle of the occupants during the medieval period. The size of this pond would suggest that its principal use was for storing fish before being transported to local markets.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated site and associated fishpond, situated in an area of undulating land. The moated site occupies a prominent position with extensive views to the north. The rectangular moated island, which has maximum dimensions of 50m north-south by 54m east-west, was originally surrounded by a moat on its western, southern and eastern sides, and was bounded by a fishpond on its northern side. The remains of a brick-built structure was found on the island at the end of the 19th century. There are now no visible traces of any buildings, although fragments of brick and tile can be seen embedded in the sides of the moat. The southern moat arm still retains water. It is 12m wide and 1.5m deep, and is bounded on the southern (outer side) by a bank 9m wide and 0.4m high. Much of the eastern arm has been infilled with modern building rubble, but survives as a buried feature. A causeway to the island separated the northern part of this ditch from the adjacent fishpond. The western arm ranges in depth from 1.5m to 2.5m and is between 13m and 19m wide. The fishpond, which has been drained, is triangular in shape (about 35m north-south by 150m east-west) and would have been used for breeding and storing fish to provide a sustainable supply of food. It was created by digging into the sloping ground and dumping the spoil to the north in order to form a dam, 15m wide and 1m high. The dam sits at the top of a steep north east facing slope. It is about 95m long, but drainage works during the 20th century have substantially reduced its height at the eastern end. The steep scarp which defines the southern side of the fishpond also defines the northern side of the moated island, and is between 1.5m and 2m in height. The western side of the pond is defined by a scarp 0.8m high. Water to supply the moat and the fishpond came from the higher ground to the south through a channel, or leat, that joined the moat at its south western corner. This channel has been recut and forms part of the modern drainage system, and is not therefore included in the scheduling. The modern drainage channel cuts through the base of western arm of the moat and connnects with drains in the eastern part of the pond. The electricity poles 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. 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: 32304

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing