Kent's Moat


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.

Birmingham (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 14388 86258

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.

Kent's Moat survives well as an earthwork feature, despite later development. Although dry, those areas of the moat which have been partially silted are expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence of its construction and any re-cutting or alterations which occurred during its active history. The site also preserves buried building remains and artefacts which will illuminate the history and use of the moat, including evidence about its occupants and their daily activities. Household remains will provide dating evidence as well an insight into the range of social contacts of the inhabitants of the moat throughout its history.


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the medieval moated site known as Kent's Moat, lying adjacent to Sheldon Heath Road. The moat belonged to the Sheldon family who constructed a house here in the early 13th century and rebuilt it during the 14th century. The house was abandoned in the 15th century, when it passed into the possession of the Earl of Kent. The moated site is orientated south west to north east and measures approximately 98m by 85m externally. Although dry, the moat survives as a partially infilled ditch defining a sub-rectangular island. The silted arms are visible on all four sides and measure approximately 11.5m across and up to 2m deep. An original entrance is preserved as a causeway across the north eastern arm of the moat. The island measures approximately 80m by 60m and is level with the surrounding ground level. A number of low rise flats arranged in three blocks are sited on the island. Partial excavation in 1959 and 1964 in advance of the housing development revealed substantial building remains surviving upon the island, including timber buildings, floor tiles, and roofing materials, as well as domestic artefacts. The low rise flats arranged in three blocks and all fences, modern roads, and surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features 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:
Legacy System:


excavation records in SMR, Excavations at Kents moat 1959, (1959)
records, text plans, SMR officer, Various texts regarding Kent's Moat,


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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