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Feckenham manorial moated site

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Feckenham manorial moated site

List entry Number: 1018361

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Worcestershire

District: Redditch

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Feckenham

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 06-Jul-1949

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Mar-1998

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 30004

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 monument is an unusually large elliptical moated site of the Royal Manor of Feckenham and the court of the Forest of Feckenham. The site is first documented in a land charter of AD 802 which suggests that the site has Anglo-Saxon origins. This and the good level of documentation from Domesday until the 17th century, which document the high status and various periods of development of the site, also contribute to the importance of the monument. Limited excavations before 1971 have indicated a high level of survival of archaeological deposits representing several phases of domestic occupation.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the surviving buried and earthwork remains of Feckenham Court House, a medieval manorial moated site where the court of the Forest of Feckenham was held. Feckenham Manor, a high status Anglo-Saxon manor from about AD 804, had passed to the Crown by the time of the Domesday survey. The manor was held by the Crown for several centuries with references made to royal buildings on the site. The manor house was repaired in 1355 but was later demolished and the buildings removed by the Abbot of Evesham. The monument became the site of the court proceedings associated with Feckenham Forest. A prison, known as Bennets' Bower, is documented at the site, where in the 16th century manorial courts were also held. The court house fell into disrepair following deforestation in the 17th century. During the reign of Charles II the site was planted and used to grow tobacco. The moated site, covering 1.62ha, is larger and more heavily fortified than many manorial moated sites. Its boundary takes the form of an elliptical earthwork approximately 220m by 120m, orientated east-west, consisting of an outer ditch or moat enclosing two concentric earthwork banks separated by a ditch. The moat is deepest on the northern side (2m to 3m), elsewhere it measures 1m to 2m deep. The eastern part of the moat has been largely infilled or levelled with domestic buildings being inserted into the external moat in the north east quadrant; these areas are not included in the scheduling. The double bank and ditch are clearly visible in the north west quadrant; in the south west quadrant the double bank and ditch separate creating an inner berm. In the south east quadrant the double bank and ditch are no longer evident and the outer moat diminishes to become a boundary ditch, which continues as far as the village development at the south east, south and north east of the monument. In 1968 the earthworks of several buildings could be discerned in the interior or island of the moat, but the interior of the monument is now largely level and is used as a sports ground. The only surviving original entrance point, partly infilled, is in the centre of the northern entrenchment. An excavation across a raised platform in the northern half of the monument revealed occupation dating from the mid-12th to mid-14th centuries, with traces of both timber and stone buildings. The modern sports changing room may obscure some of the features previously recorded near the centre of the northern earthworks. A modern breach has been made across the earthworks in the north west quadrant. All modern buildings, the sports pavillion, goal posts, garden furniture and the surface of all 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1913), 111
Montgomerie, D H, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1924), 425
Noake J, , Worcestershire Relics, (1877), 182
Other
Description and discussion, Hooke D, Correspondence in SMR, (1991)

National Grid Reference: SP 00752 61563

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1018361 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 23-Nov-2017 at 09:24:27.

End of official listing