Moated site at Moat Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017242

Date first listed: 09-Jun-2000


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Moat Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Worcestershire

District: Wychavon (District Authority)

Parish: Dormston

National Grid Reference: SO 98405 57278


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 upstanding earthworks of the moated site at Moat Farm will provide information upon the size and form of the moated site. Those areas of the moat which have been partially infilled are expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence of its construction and any re-cutting or alterations which occurred during its active history. The partial re-excavation of the arms lying on the north west, north east and south eastern sides has removed only the most modern material, and will not have damaged the earlier deposits. In addition the moat has remained waterlogged throughout its history and these wet conditions will have preserved environmental deposits providing information about the ecosystem and agricultural regimes around the moated site from the medieval period. The site will also preserve artefacts which will illuminate the social history of the site, including evidence about its occupants and their daily activities. Household remains will provide dating evidence as well as insights into the range of social contacts of the inhabitants of the moat 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 medieval farmstead complex at Moat Farm, Dormston. The moat lies in the centre of a linear village, to the north of the main Worcester to Alcester Road, in a gentle valley with rising ground on all sides.

The moated site is orientated south west to north east and measures approximately 65m by 50m externally. The moat is compact, defining a sub-rectangular island and survives as an earthwork ditch on three sides. The moat was partially infilled during the 18th century, surviving as an earthwork until the moat arms on the north east, north west and south west were partly re-excavated in the 1980s. It remains water-filled. The interior of the moat arm can be clearly seen on the infilled south western side, although the exterior line has since been obscured by infilling and the creation of a later track. This arm will, however, be preserved as a buried feature. The arms measure between 5m and 15m across, the north western arm being widest. The moat is filled by ground water drainage which feeds into the moat through an inlet in the northern angle. An original causeway is preserved across the north eastern arm of the moat, and an early single span brick lined bridge gives access across the narrowest part of the moat to the south east.

The interior of the moat island is steeply raised 1m to 2m above surrounding ground level. Moat Farm House, a Listed Grade II* 16th century timber framed building, lies on the island of the moat and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. To the south west of the moat a Listed Grade II* timber framed dovecote of 17th century date is also excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is again included.

Documentary sources indicate that five manses at Dormston were confirmed to St Marys of Pershore by a charter of King Edgar in the 10th century and later formed a manor of the Abbey of Westminster, being farmed by tenants throughout the medieval period. It is believed that the farmstead at Dormston formed part of this estate.

Moat Farm House, the timber framed dovecote and all modern paved 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. 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: 30054

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Salzman, L, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1969), 133
various SMR Officers, Various unpublished notes, SMR file

End of official listing