Moated site, fishponds and ridge and furrow cultivation remains, 260m south west of Betton Alkmere


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019646

Date first listed: 09-Mar-2001


Ordnance survey map of Moated site, fishponds and ridge and furrow cultivation remains, 260m south west of Betton Alkmere
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1019646 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 04:17:07.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Berrington

National Grid Reference: SJ 50515 09048


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, fishponds and cultivation remains 260m south west of Betton Alkmere are a good example of this class of monument, despite some modification to the moat during the 20th century. The moated island will retain buried evidence of the buildings that once stood on the site, which together with the associated artefacts and organic remains 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 provide information about changes to the local environment and the use of the land before and after the moated site was constructed.

Fishponds were constructed throughout the medieval period, with many dating to the 12th century, and were used for breeding and storing fish in order to provide a sustainable supply of food. The direct association between the fishponds and the moated site provides additional evidence about the economy and lifestyle of the occupants of the site during the medieval period. The relationship between the moated site and the ridge and furrow cultivation remains also demonstates the nature of agricultural practices and landholding patterns in the area following the establishment of the moated site.


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, fishponds and an area of ridge and furrow cultivation. The moated site is situated on high ground, the north eastern side of which lies within the tail of a natural gully which continues in a north westerly direction.

The earliest large scale Ordnance Survey map, published in 1882, shows a water-filled moat with its north eastern arm extended by about 30m to the south east to form an enlarged reservoir, which probably served as a fishpond. The moat and its extended arm are now dry. The western and north eastern moat arms, including the extension, were largely infilled in about 1940, but survive as buried features. The moat defines a sub-rectangular island, approximately 28m south west-north east by 32m north west-south east (maximum dimensions). The arms of the moat are between 8m and 10m wide. Material excavated from the moat has been used to raise the surface of the island on its western and north eastern sides by up to 1m above the level of the surrounding land.

To the south of the extended moat arm is another fishpond. It is rectangular in plan, 8.5m wide and approximately 44m long. Material excavated during its construction has been used to raise the level of the surrounding ground to the north and east in order to form a dam. A narrow channel cuts through the northern part of the dam and connects this pond to the moat arm extension to the north. The pond has been largely drained, although it still retains some water.

To the north east of the moated site are the remains of broad cultivation strips (ridge and furrow) orientated south west-north east, defined on the western side by a former field boundary ditch, which is similarly aligned. A 50m by 90m sample of the ridge and furrow cultivation remains, which formed part of a medieval open field system, and the associated former field boundary, are included in the scheduling to preserve the relationship between these features and the moated site and the adjacent fishponds.

All fence and gate posts 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: 33822

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing