Moated site of Frankley Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Bromsgrove (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 99717 80441

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 Frankley Hall is a well-preserved and well-documented example of a manorial moated site with descriptions of the site ranging from Leylands comments of the 1530s to an archaeological survey of the 1970s. There is little evidence of recent disturbance which suggests that important structural remains will survive within the island, whilst the water-logged conditions will preserve environmental deposits which will provide information about land use and the environment around the moated site during its occupation.

The association of the moated site with recorded fishponds and with the nearby church provide evidence of the wider setting and environment of the moated site.


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a rectangular moated site measuring approximately 120m by 100m and oriented south west to north east. The moat is sited 130m west of St Leonard's Church at the base of the east facing slope of Church Hill.

The arms of the moat are water-logged, except to the north east where the moat arm is only partly water-filled. They are 5m to 10m wide and 3m to 4m deep being widest at the angles of the moat. The banks of the moat are not raised above the surrounding ground level. Those on the south east display evidence of brick revetment of 16th or 17th century construction.

The moat encloses a rectangular island which measures approximately 80m by 60m and is raised 1m to 2m above the surrounding ground level. The surface of the island is undulating and contains a number of shallow depressions which represent the buried building remains of Frankley Hall. To the south west of the moat is another smaller platform, measuring 60m by 20m, which is integral to the moated site and which is believed to be the site of the gatehouse. This platform is surrounded by ditches and contains a large hollowed area.

The moated site was the chief seat of the Littleton family from the 13th century. By the 17th century, a fine brick mansion stood on the moat island, which was burned down during the Civil War. A fishpond measuring 140m by 35m was sited across the road to the north east of the moated site, and was surveyed in the 1970s. This has since been infilled and levelled and is not included in the scheduling.

The modern post and wire fences 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. 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Leyland, J, The Itinerary of J Leyland in or about the Years 1535 to 1543, (1907)
Dr Aston, M., Unpublished survey at Frankley Hall, 1960, SMR record from 1960's or 1970's
Various SMR Officers, Unpublished Collection of notes concerning Frankley Hall, SMR record from 1960's to 1990's


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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