Moated site at Pickard's Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017803

Date first listed: 23-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Pickard's Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2018 at 21:23:58.


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

County: Worcestershire

District: Wyre Forest (District Authority)

Parish: Upper Arley

National Grid Reference: SO 76311 81477


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 Pickard's Farm is a well-preserved example of a simple moat typical of many to be found in the area. Its survival within an associated field system, with little evidence of recent disturbance, enhances its importance. In addition, the survival of building platforms would suggest that the remains of buildings and dwellings associated with the medieval moated site will also survive. These will provide information about the range of buildings associated with moated sites and may include the dwellings of those who worked for the estate which will also provide an insight into the wider social and economic sphere of moated sites.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the moated site and associated enclosures at Pickard's Farm. Records first refer to a tenement at Pickard's Farm in a land grant of the 13th century. An assize of AD 1276 confirms that the holding was granted to Hugh de Picard. Records continue to refer to a messuage and other holdings throughout the 16th century.

The remains include a small sub-rectangular moated site approximately 100m by 60m, orientated north west to south east. The southern arm of the moat remains water-filled whilst the eastern and northern arms are waterlogged. The moat was filled from a spring which survives at its eastern angle.

The western arm of the moat has been partly infilled at a later date to provide access to the farm which formerly stood on the island. The remains of the last farmhouse to occupy the moat island was demolished in 1997, and will survive in the form of demolition layers and floor levels, below which can be seen the stone rubble foundations of an earlier building. The moat island also includes areas of uneven earthworks which are believed to be former farm buildings along the southern edge of the moat island.

To the east of the moated site are three enclosures or platforms delineated by the moat ditch and other waterlogged ditches, these vary in size from 10m by 17m to 30m by 22m. The platforms have undulating surfaces which indicate the presence of earlier building platforms.

To the north of the moated site is a raised area of medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains, divided into enclosures by further ditches or hollow ways. A 20m wide portion of the ridge and furrow cultivation remains is included in the scheduling in order to preserve the relationship between the moated site and its field system. A further platform surrounded by hollow ways or ditches lies to the north west of the moated site, adjacent to the area of ridge and furrow, although it does not contain any signs of cultivation remains. A 20m sample of this platform has also been included in the scheduling.

All modern fences and the surfaces of modern tracks 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.


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

Legacy System number: 30012

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1913), 7

End of official listing