Moated site and a fishpond 160m and 280m south of The Farm, Charlton


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Telford and Wrekin (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 59756 11193, SJ 59849 11089

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 160m and 280m south of the The Farm, Charlton, is a well- preserved example of this class of monument. The structural remains of buildings surviving here, together with associated artefacts and organic remains existing on the island and in the moat, will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains preserved within the moat will also provide information about the changes to the local environment and the use of the land. The importance of the site is further enhanced by the documentary sources which provide valuable information about ownership during the medieval period, and the changing nature of the manor house. Fishponds were constructed throughout the medieval period with many dating from the 12th century. The associated fishpond at Charlton provides additional evidence about the economy and lifestyle of the occupants of the moated site during the medieval period.


The monument includes the earthwork, buried and upstanding structural remains of a medieval moated site, a fishpond and associated drainage channels, which lie within two separate areas of protection. In 1316 Sir John Charlton was given a licence to crenellate (fortify) the manor house at Charlton and in 1342 he was allowed to celebrate Mass at the chapel constructed here. Charlton Castle, as it was known, was apparently used as a residence of the lords of Powys in the earlier part of the 16th century, but following the manor's sale in 1588 it fell into disuse. The moated site was constructed on level ground in an area of undulating land. The moat defines a rectangular island approximately 55m north west-south east by 70m south west-north east. The arms of the moat are between 14m and 16m wide and are partially waterlogged. Access to the island is via a 5m wide causeway, which crosses the northern part of the north western moat arm. A curtain wall was constructed around the sides of the island and is now apparent as a low and discontinuous bank, standing up to 0.6m high. Mounds of demolished and collapsed masonry, level areas bounded by embanked wall foundations and sections of upstanding masonry up to 3.2m high, indicate that the castle consisted of ranges of buildings set round a central courtyard. All visible portions of masonry are comprised of squared and irregular blocks of limestone and red sandstone. To the south east of the castle, and aligned north east-south west, is a large water-filled rectangular fishpond. It is approximately 30m wide by 92m long and was created by digging into a north facing slope. Water was originally channelled into the pond from the north east, with a bypass channel located along its south eastern side. Water was discharged from the pond by means of an outflow channel situated at its south western corner. The bypass channel, together with 10m long sections of the inflow and outflow channels, are included in the scheduling to preserve the relationship between these features and the fishpond. All gate and fence 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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire: Volume XI, (1985), 313


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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