Moated site 450m west of Parkhall Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018580

Date first listed: 21-Jan-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 450m west of Parkhall Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Worcestershire

District: Wychavon (District Authority)

Parish: Hanbury

National Grid Reference: SO 97326 61793


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 west 450m west of Parkhall Farm survives as a largely undisturbed and well-preserved medieval manorial moat. The island will preserve evidence of former structures, including both domestic and ancillary buildings and their associated occupation levels. These remains will illustrate the nature of use of the site and the lifestyle of its inhabitants in addition to evidence which will facilitate the dating of the construction and subsequent periods of use of the moat. The moat ditch will be expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence of its construction and any alterations during its active history. In addition, the generally waterlogged condition of the moat will preserve environmental information about the ecosystem and landscape in which it was set. The site is of particular importance due to its association with the park keepers of the medieval Royal Forest of Feckenham, and it is expected to preserve evidence for structures and use in connection with the management of the Forest, including evidence for its economic and social regime.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site 450m west of Parkhall Farm, Hanbury. The moat island, which is rectangular and level with the surrounding ground, measures 65m by 28m, and is defined by a moat which, although no longer water-filled, is waterlogged in places. Traces of brick building remains noted on the moat island in 1988 are no longer visible. The moat measures up to 1m deep and 6m wide, and was originally fed in the south west corner by a leat from the stream which now runs through the centre of the island. A second leat running along the north side of the moat supplied additional water management features to the west including a pond. This pond is degraded and is not included in the scheduling, although the leat running along the north of the moat is included. Excess water is believed to have been carried from the moat at the point where the present stream exits the moat on its western side. The moat is believed to be a medieval manorial moat, and was in 1136, when it was exempted from the foundation grant of Bordesley Abbey, the `land of the parker'. This description indicates that, although manorial in nature, it would have fulfilled a role in the management of the Royal Forest of Feckenham. The site may thus have included weapon and equipment stores associated with hunting, facilities for stock management, and perhaps a holding cell for those accused of contravening the laws of the forest, prior to their committal to trial. Parkhall Manor continued as the property of the hereditary keepers of the Royal Forest of Feckenham until the office of Head Parker was removed from the manor in the 13th century by Edward I and given to Queen Eleanor to be granted at the queen's will. The office of head parker was an often hereditary honorary position and was indicative of high status and royal connections. In 1377 the estate was granted to Bordesley Abbey, in whose possession it remained until the Dissolution in 1538. The Hanbury tithe award of 1838 records its subsequent use as being garden and moat. The modern bridge and surface to the east of the moat 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: 31948

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Mawer, , Stenton, , Place Names of Worcestershire, (1937), 323
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1913), 376-7
Bond, C.J., Provisional List of Moats in Worcestershire, (1972)
Butt, Mr. Bond, C.J., SMR Records, (1970)
Title: Hanbury Tithe Award Source Date: 1838 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing