Harlescott Grange moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019297

Date first listed: 31-Oct-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Harlescott Grange moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Shrewsbury

National Grid Reference: SJ 50134 16019


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.

Despite its modification following the construction of the surrounding housing estate, Harlescott Grange moated site is a good example of this class of monument. The remains of buildings and associated deposits are expected to survive as buried features. These remains, 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 surface under the raised interior 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. The monument is a valuable local amenity as it used as a recreation area.


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 north east facing slope. It is now surrounded by a modern housing estate, but from this location there would originally have been extensive views of the surrounding area. The moat is now visible as a slight earthwork having been drained in 1950 and largely infilled following the construction of the housing estate. The arms of the moat, which survive as buried features, are between 12m and 15m wide and define a rectangular island approximately 40m by 46m. Material excavated from the moat has been used to raise the surface of the island between 1.2m and 2m above the level of the surrounding ground. An account of the site in 1937 indicated that the sides of the moat were lined with masonry and when the moat was drained, 13th century pottery was found. Sherds of medieval pottery were also found when a small-scale archaeological excavation was conducted in 1960. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling, these are; all fences and modern walls, all paths and a litter bin; the ground beneath all these features is, however, 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: 33812

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society' in Annual Excursion, 1937, , Vol. 49, (1938), vii
Barker, P A, 'Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society' in Harlecott Grange Moated Site, Shrewsbury, , Vol. 56, (1960), 348-49

End of official listing