Moated site at Bishopstone Court


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019822

Date first listed: 24-Nov-2000


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Bishopstone Court
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Bishopstone

National Grid Reference: SO 41628 44028


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 Bishopstone Court survives as a well preserved example of its class of monument. The moat island will be expected to preserve evidence of former structures, including both domestic and ancillary buildings and their associated occupation levels. These remains will illustrate the nature of use of the site and the lifestyle of its inhabitants in addition to providing evidence which will facilitate dating of the construction and subsequent periods of use of the moat. The moat will also be expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence for its construction and any alterations during its active history.

The 16th century gateway illustrates the status and architectural sophistication of the moat's later inhabitants.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site at Bishopstone Court located on level ground, 120m north of the Church of St Lawrence and approximately 1.5km east of Offa's Dyke.

The moat island is rectangular, measuring some 40m by 30m, and is defined by a substantial water-filled moat. Bishopstone Court, a 16th century building with 18th century alterations, stands upon the island. It is a Listed Building Grade II and excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

The moat is filled via a modern stone leat in a short projection off its south eastern corner and drained via a modern sluice situated midway along the northern arm. The modern leat and sluice are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included. The moat measures approximately 10m wide by up to 3m deep on the west, south, and east arms while the northern arm has been widened to approximately 15m. The outer face of the moat is mostly earthen, whilst the island is entirely dry stone revetted.

Situated midway along the eastern arm are the remains of a late 16th century gateway consisting of two pillars flanking the eastern entrance to the island. Access is gained via a stone bridge which is associated with the gateway. The stone bridge, drystone retaining wall and gateway remains are Listed Grade II and are included in the scheduling. There is secondary access via a two arched brick bridge with a stone central pier, situated midway along the western arm.

Bishopstone Court, the bridge on the western arm of the moat, and all modern fencing and surfaces 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: 31959

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Moger, O, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1908), 349
Turner, J H, Herefords County Treasures, (1981), 41
DRB, Ordnance Survey Record Cards, (1969)
RCHM, Herefordshire, RCHM, RCHM, Herefordshire, (1934)
RCHM, RCHM, (1934)
Record Cards, (1970)
Record Cards, (1980)

End of official listing