Moated site known as Old Court Mound at Old Court


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017346

Date first listed: 12-Feb-1958

Date of most recent amendment: 24-Nov-2000


Ordnance survey map of Moated site known as Old Court Mound at Old Court
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bredwardine

National Grid Reference: SO 33526 44858


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 known as Old Court Mound survives as a largely undisturbed and well preserved example of this class of monument. The undisturbed nature of the moat 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. The moat ditch will be expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence of its construction and any alterations during its active history. In addition, the waterlogged nature of the pond will preserve environmental information about the 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 medieval moated site known as Old Court Mound and the adjacent pond, located on a hillside overlooking the River Wye 65m north of Old Court House. A minor stream flows by the north side of the site and thence to the Wye. The Church of St Andrew is situated approximately 400m to the south with, directly south of it, a motte and bailey which is the subject of a separate scheduling. The square moat island appears to be undisturbed and measures 30m by 30m. It is raised some 1m to 2m above the land to the south and east, and approximately 0.5m higher than the land to the north where there is a drop of 4m to 5m to the adjacent stream and pond. There are mounds at the corners of the island which measure up to 0.5m high. Building stone is clearly visible on the island and the remains of an east to west stone wall were recorded in 1985. The moat, which measures up to 10m wide by up to 3m deep, is dry although it does fill when the Wye is in severe flood. The northern arm is formed by the utilisation of the adjacent stream and pond and measures up to 5m deep. It would appear that the pond and moat were filled by damming downstream of the moat. No trace of a dam is visible. Situated immediately north of the island is a shallow pond, approximately 200m long by 25m wide, with its eastern end in line with the eastern arm of the moat. This pond has been formed by enlarging the natural stream bed and is included in the scheduling.

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: 31963

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Robinson, , Castles of Herefordshire, (1867)
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , Herefordshire, south west, (1931), 26
Record Cards, (1980)
various, EH files AM107, (1980)

End of official listing