Moated site 330m south west of Humphreston Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019203

Date first listed: 16-Oct-1975

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Moated site 330m south west of Humphreston Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Nov-2018 at 06:43:59.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Donington

National Grid Reference: SJ 81407 04990


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 330m south west of Humphreston Hall is a well-preserved example of this class of monument. The geophysical survey of the moated island has helped to demonstrate the nature and extent of the structural remains that survive here. These remains, the associated artefacts and organic remains will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the site's inhabitants. Partial excavation of the moat has indicated that waterlogged organic remains survive and the pottery found gives an indication of the date of occupation. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surface under the raised portion of the island and under the external banks will provide information about the local environment and the use of the land before the moated site was constructed.

The monument has been developed as a public amenity for the disabled and is a significant educational resource.


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 an east facing slope in an area of gently undulating land. It lies 340m west of another moated site at Humphreston Hall, which is not included in the scheduling.

The arms of the moat are between 12m and 18m wide and define a rectangular island approximately 30m by 35m. Material excavated from the moat was used to raise the eastern portion of the island in order to create a level platform. Spoil from this operation was also used to form external banks along the eastern and southern arms, approximately 9m and 12m wide respectively.

Archaeological investigations of the site were conducted in 1988 and 1990, and included the partial excavation of the moat, which was then dry. These investigations found that the moat had been created by cutting into the natural clay and the underlying sandstone bedrock. The initial silt deposits within the moat were waterlogged and contained sherds of pottery dating to the 13th and 14th centuries, together with pieces of wood. Large fragments of worked stone were found in the southern arm indicating that the inner side of the arm had been reinforced by a stone revetment. These layers were covered by deposits of silt which were sealed by dumps of rubble, probably from the construction of the modern arterial road which has modified the south western corner of the moat. The excavations confirmed the existence of an original causeway to the island, across the middle of the western arm. No excavation took place on the island but a geophyical survey of the area, to locate the buried structural features, was undertaken. The buried remains of a rectangular building, about 25m long and 10m wide, with walls of stone or timber, was located on the western side of the island. It appears to have been subdivided into a series of rooms with a possible porch near to the causeway across the moat.

The wooden fishing platforms, the paths around the moat, all wooden posts including fence posts, and all ornamental garden features 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.


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

Legacy System number: 33806

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Cane, J, Excavations at Albrighton Moat, Shropshire, (1988)
Hughes, E G, Further excavations at Albrighton Moat, Shropshire, (1991)

End of official listing