Moated site, fishponds and quarries at Harvington Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017530

Date first listed: 16-Oct-1939

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Mar-1998


Ordnance survey map of Moated site, fishponds and quarries at Harvington Hall
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Worcestershire

District: Wyre Forest (District Authority)

Parish: Chaddesley Corbett

National Grid Reference: SO 87741 74501


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 at Harvington Hall includes a range of associated features, the majority of which are well documented. The development of the status of the site will enhance our understanding of moated sites. The complex of fishponds surrounding the site and the evidence of the engineering required to establish the water management features within the confines of the landscape enhances the importance of the site.

The survival of the original quarries used in the construction of the site, and the documentation and physical evidence for the reuse of the quarries, as part of the domestic complex providing kennels and an ice house, provide further rare insights into the origins, construction and domestic reuse of the monument.

The moated site and pond have remained water-filled and the preservation of organic remains would be expected. Part excavation within the island of the moated site has also shown that several phases of archaeological deposits survive, including evidence of prehistoric occupation prior to the construction of the moated site. The series of buildings which survive on the island and which include the Hall, granary, chapel and the malt house further add to our understanding of the use and development of structures within a moated site.


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 its associated fishpond complex and quarries at Harvington Hall, Chaddesley Corbett. The moat is sub-rectangular and measures approximately 150m north to south by 110m east to west with a large triangular island upon which stands Harvington Hall. The Hall, a Grade I Listed Building of the late medieval period, is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

To the immediate north east of the moated site is a sub-rectangular pond. This pond is the sole remaining unmodified pond formerly part of a chain of four ponds surrounding the moated site. To the north of the moated site lies a large sandstone quarry, from which the building materials used in the construction and modification of the Hall are believed to have come and which was later reused and adapted to serve as the kennels complex associated with the Hall. To the west of the Hall a further quarry also provided stone for building works at the moat. In the south west corner of this quarry is the entrance to the ice house associated with Harvington Hall. All the arms of the moat remain water-filled. The moat is partly lined with bricks and red sandstone blocks. The main approach to the island is via a Listed Grade I single arched bridge built of red sandstone and reinforced in brick. The buildings on the island rise directly from the moat edge in a sheer face along the inner face of the arms of the moat. On the north west part of the island lie an 18th century chapel and a 17th century malt house both of which are Listed Grade II and are included in the scheduling. There is a second entrance to the island to the south west in the form of a stone built double arched bridge with brick arch linings and which is Listed Grade II. Both entrances are believed to have been original entrances to the moat island.

On the northern side of the moated site, a substantial earthen bank acts as a dam retaining the water against the natural slope away from the site. There is an outlet in the northern angle of the outer bank of the moat ditch, allowing water to flow down hill from the moat. The modern approach to Harvington Hall runs across the retaining bank of the north eastern arm of the moat. The island of the moated site is roughly triangular, orientated north east to south west. The buildings of Harvington Hall are located in the south and east sectors of the island, with the main house in the southern angle. The interior of the island is largely level, although excavations in advance of a drainage trench uncovered archaeological deposits ranging from prehistoric to post- medieval.

To the north east of the moated site, across the modern access road, lies the sub-rectangular pool known as `Gallows Pool' on the late 18th century estate plan. This pond formed the first of a chain of ponds recorded as surrounding the hall in early maps. At the north western end of the pool lies a small separate stone lined pond. This is where the spring rises which feeds the entire system. A cobbled hollow way runs from opposite the eastern end of the quarry arcing towards the Gallows Pool.

The quarry which lies to the north east of the moated site exhibits signs of occupation, including beam slots, tooling and brick lined faces of chimney flues. To the west of the moat lies a second quarry, a further source of building materials for the Hall. This quarry also contains substantial tooling marks and beam slots. In the south eastern angle is a brick lined archway which is the entrance way to the ice house associated with the Hall. The ice house is partly constructed from brick and partly hewn from the sandstone, it would originally have been stocked with ice taken from the adjacent pond complex. The remains of the ice house are included in the scheduling.

All modern lighting, fencing, garden furniture, and the surface of modern paths and roads are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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: 30008

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hodgetts, M, Guide Book, (1991)
Hussey, Reverend C, Hodgetts, M, Guide Book, (1944)
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1913), 35
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, (1968), 192
Stone, R, Macklin, S, 'Hereford Archaeology Series' in Harvington Hall Interim Report On Excavations, , Vol. 233, (1995)
Leigh J, AM107, (1987)

End of official listing