Medieval settlement remains and moated site at Stenbury Manor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017369

Date first listed: 09-Nov-2000


Ordnance survey map of Medieval settlement remains and moated site at Stenbury Manor
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 23:11:29.


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

District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Godshill

National Grid Reference: SZ 52710 79005


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 past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the East Wessex sub-Province of the south-eastern Province, an area in which settlement characteristics are shaped by strong contrasts in terrain. This is seen in the division between the chalk Downs, where chains of nucleated settlements concentrate in the valleys, and the Hampshire Basin, still dominated by the woodlands and open commons of the ancient New Forest, where nucleated sites are largely absent. Along the coastal strip extending into Sussex are more nucleations, while in Hampshire some coastal areas and inland valleys are marked by high densities of dispersed settlement, much of it post-medieval. The Isle of Wight local region is divided into two parts by a narrow west to east ridge of downland. The low-lying area to the north is mainly clays, while to the south clays and sands form the wide vale of the Yar. The settlement pattern is unusually complex: areas with villages and hamlets intermingle with zones dominated by scatters of farmsteads and tracts of unsettled downland.

The medieval settlement remains and moated site at Stenbury Manor survive well. The settlement survives as a series of earthworks which will retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence containing information about its dating, layout and economy. Together with contemporary documents relating to the site, these will provide an opportunity to understand the mechanisms behind its development, decline and eventual abandonment. The moated site is one of only a very few known to survive on the Isle of Wight and is adjacent to a variety of contemporary features such as the settlement, ponds and field systems.


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


The monument includes medieval settlement remains and an adjacent moated site situated on a north facing slope south and east of Stenbury Manor Farm.

The settlement remains consist of a building platform, trackways, terracing and a series of water channels and ponds. The building platform is rectangular, measures 50m by 20m and is edged by wall foundations visible as low banks. Two further banks projecting inwards from its southern side mark either internal partitions within a single building, or the gable ends of two adjacent structures. A series of at least three sunken trackways run northwards down the hill, the most substantial of which is situated immediately east of the platform, whilst a terraced area to its north has traces of medieval agriculture in the form of ridge and furrow cultivation and possibly represents the location of an orchard. A faint square platform immediately north of the stream indicates the location of an additional building, 50m west of which is a low sub-circular embanked area representing the location of a silted up pond which formed the eastern extent of a series of water management features linked by channels. The channels fed into a pair of parallel embanked ponds up to 60m in length, 2m in depth and orientated on an east to west axis, with the southern pond cut into the hillslope and the spoil used to construct its northern bank. The northern pond lay at the foot of the slope and drained into the adjacent moat.

The moated site is situated in the western part of the monument. It includes a level island enclosed by a dry moat, three arms of which are visible, the fourth having been infilled. The manor house, which is Listed Grade II, and the 15th century chapel lie within the moated area. The moat is approximately 9m wide and over 1m deep on the south, west and east sides of the manor house. The northern arm is no longer visible, having been infilled over the years. The moat encloses an area approximately 78m wide east-west, but the north- south dimensions are difficult to discern with accuracy as there is no trace of the moat on the north side of the house.

Stenbury is mentioned in the Domesday Book. For the purposes of taxation, the manor of Stenbury was included with Godshill during the medieval period. The first known possessors of Stenbury were the de Aulas from whom in the 13th century it passed to De Heyno who built the original manor house of which nothing now remains. The manor is mentioned regularly until 1505 when it was quartered, although by 1580 the Worsley family held three quarters. The moat is thought to have been infilled in 1727. An area of parkland is known to have existed as early as 1769 and may have included the field in which the settlement remains are located.

To the west of the manor house are further earthworks, including fishponds, lynchets and a platform on the edge of the stream, reputed to be the site of a mill. These earthworks to the west of the moat are not included in the scheduling as their extent and survival are not well understood at present.

The manor house, chapel, the Listed Grade II pigsties and all fence posts and feed troughs 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: 30288

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Sly, T, Stenbury 1998 Geophysical Survey, (1999)
Stone, , The Architectural Antiquities of the Isle of Wight, (1891), 83
Holyoak, V.M., Sketch Plan of SM 30288, (1999)
Motkin, D., SM 30288 looking south west, (1989)
Motkin, D., SM 30288 looking south, (1989)

End of official listing