Moated site at Blackgreves Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017804

Date first listed: 23-Feb-1998


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Blackgreves Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Worcestershire

District: Bromsgrove (District Authority)

Parish: Wythall

National Grid Reference: SP 06587 75474


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 Blackgreves Farm is a well-preserved example of a simple moat typical of many to be found in the area. The site is well documented providing an insight into the history of the site's occupation. The water- filled moat shows little evidence of recent disturbance, and archaeological and environmental deposits relating to the construction of the monument will survive here. The locations of five other moated sites are known within a 6km radius of the monument, and this association will provide the opportunity to consider the relationships between high status settlement in the region during the medieval period.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a moated site at Blackgreves Farm. Records refer to Richard I granting the tenement to Reginald De Barres, and in 1252 Henry III granted the same lands to William de Belne, whose family retained the property until modern times despite its recorded ruin following the Black Death.

The sub-rectangular moat makes a complete circuit of the moat island except for a solid, stone lined causeway across the middle of its southern arm. The moated site is orientated north to south and measures approximately 80m square. The island, which measures approximately 40m by 50m, is partly occupied by an 18th and 19th century farm house which is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. The surface of the island is generally raised 0.5m above the surrounding ground level.

The moat is water-filled and is quite uniform measuring 12m to 17m across the top of the banks. There is an inlet providing surface drainage water in the north western corner of the moat and an outlet in the south western corner. An external bank rises 1m above the surrounding ground level on all sides. A large `L'-shaped pond is recorded on the 1840s tithe map, located to the south west of the south western angle of the moat. The faint traces of this feature were surveyed in 1986, and the remnants can still be distinguished, although they are considerably degraded and are not included in the scheduling. This feature has been interpreted as the corner of either an earlier moated site or as a second moated site contemporary with the extant moated site. The offset location of this pond does not support the view that the moated site once took the form of a double island.

The farm house and all associated buildings, fences and walls, and the surfaces of modern paths 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: 30013

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Worcester: Volume III, (1913), 186
Price, S, 'West Mids Archaeology' in A Survey of Balckgraves Farm Wythall, (1986), 12-14

End of official listing