Moated site at Whitwell


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019013

Date first listed: 15-Jun-2000


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Whitwell
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This copy shows the entry on 11-Dec-2018 at 16:32:51.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Sheinton

National Grid Reference: SJ 62368 01859


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 Whitwell is a well-preserved example of this class of monument and is one of the smallest known moated sites in Shropshire. The moated island will retain structural and artefactual evidence of the buildings that once stood on the site, which together with the artefacts and organic remains existing in the moat, will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surfaces under the raised interior, the external bank, and within the moat, will also provide information about the changes to the local environment and the use of the land before and after the moated site was constructed.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated site situated on a gentle west facing slope at the top of the northern side of a steep-sided valley. The moat, which is now dry, defines a square island 17m across. The arms of the moat are between 8m and 12m wide. The northern and western arms have been largely infilled in modern times, but will survive as buried features. Material excavated from the moat has been used to heighten the western portion of the island by 0.8m above the level of the surrounding ground in order to create a level platform. Spoil from this operation has also been used to form an external bank, 8m wide, alongside the western moat arm. In the post-medieval period the moat was used as a pond to supply water to a watermill known as Oldmill, now the house at Whitwell. This building and the leat to the east of moated site are not included in the scheduling. Remains of a strip cultivation system - ridge and furrow - are known to have existed to the north and west of the moated site. These remains have been modified by later agricultural activities and are also not included the scheduling. There are a number of features which are excluded from the scheduling, these are: the gate, sheds, oil storage container and water pump house all of which are situated within the southern arm of the moat, although the ground beneath all 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: 32327

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing