Moated site, 230m west of St Michael's Church

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1017761
Date first listed:
08-Jun-1953
Date of most recent amendment:
16-Jan-1998

Map

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Location

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

County:
Warwickshire
District:
Stratford-on-Avon (District Authority)
Parish:
Whichford
National Grid Reference:
SP 30981 34621

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 230m west of St Michael's Church survives well and is unencumbered by modern development. Part excavation and earthwork evidence have indicated that the structures which originally occupied the moated island will survive beneath the ground surface, whilst the moat ditches, particularly the water-filled west arm, will retain both artefactual and environmental information relating to the occupation of the site and the economy of its inhabitants.

Details

The monument is situated on the western outskirts of Whichford village and includes the earthwork and buried remains of a moated site believed to have been built by Reginald Mohun in the early 13th century. By the mid-14th century the estate passed to the Stanleys, Earls of Derby, who held it for approximately 200 years. It was during this latter period that the moated site is thought to have fallen into disrepair and was abandoned. The moated site is roughly square in plan with external dimensions of approximately 100m east-west by 90m north-south and the ground falls away to the north. The moat ditches are dry, with the exception of part of the west arm, and some 4.6m wide. Beyond the east side of the moated site the ground falls away sharply and here an external, retaining bank which has been reinforced in recent times runs parallel with the moat arm. A break in the southern moat ditch is considered to be the original means of access to the moated island. A further causeway to the north gives access to a levelled platform which projects out of the hillslope and is thought to be an annexe of the moated site. There are intermittent traces of an inner bank around the perimeter of the moated island which itself retains evidence of slight earthworks. An excavation in the western half of the island in the early 1950s uncovered the foundations of stone buildings, believed to date from the early 13th century, and fragments of painted glass, fine quality pottery and stone-lined drains. The remains of a curtain wall of large ironstone blocks was also located along the inner edge of the western moat ditch. All fence posts 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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
21621
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Chatwin, P B, 'Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeology Society' in Whichford, South Warwickshire, , Vol. 63, (1940), 63-70
Chatwin, P B, 'Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeology Society' in Castles in Warwickshire, , Vol. 67, (1948), 34

Legal

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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