Moated site and fishpond 170m and 160m south east of Chidleys Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019832

Date first listed: 07-Mar-2002

Map

Ordnance survey map of Moated site and fishpond 170m and 160m south east of Chidleys Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Alveley

National Grid Reference: SO 79783 85842, SO 79833 85896

Summary

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 170m south east of Chidleys Farm is a well-preserved example of this type of monument and is one of the smallest known moated sites in Shropshire. The moated island retains upstanding and buried evidence of the structures that once stood on the site. These structures, together with the associated artefacts and organic remains, will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants of the site. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surfaces beneath the raised interior and under the external bank, and deposited 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.

Fishponds were constructed throughout the medieval period with many dating to the 12th century and were used for the breeding and storing of fish in order to provide a sustainable supply of food. The associated fishpond provides additional evidence about the economy and life style of the inhabitants of the moated site during the medieval period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthwork, upstanding structural and buried remains of a medieval moated site and an associated fishpond, which lie within two separate areas of protection.

The moated site is situated on a gentle south west facing slope at the base of an escarpment. The moat, which is waterlogged, is fed by a spring at its north eastern corner. The arms of the moat are between 7m and 9m wide, and define a square island approximately 21m across. The internal faces of the moat were revetted with stone and served as the base for a sandstone block curtain wall around the island, the bottom course of which is still partly visible.

Material excavated from the moat has been used to raise the south western part of the island by about 1.5m above the level of the surrounding land in order to create a level building platform. Spoil from this operation has also been used to form an external bank, about 6m wide, alongside the south western moat arm. Its northern end has been cut by a modern drainage ditch.

Fifty metres to the south west of the moated site, and within the second area of protection, is a rectangular fishpond, which retains water. It is aligned north west to south east and is approximately 55m long and 10m wide. It was created by digging into the south west facing slope, and the material excavated was deposited along its south west side to form a dam, which is about 7m wide and stands to a height of 1.2m. The northern end of the dam has been breached providing an outlet for the water. A modern drainage ditch feeds water from the moat to the pond. It is not included in the scheduling.

All 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. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 33842

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
'Stour & Smestow Archaeological Research Group. Research Paper 1' in Brierley Moat, Alveley, (1970)
'Stour & Smestow Archaeological Research Group. Research Paper 1' in Brierley Moat, Alveley, (1970), 3

End of official listing