Ancient Monuments

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Thorntree House moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Marchington, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.8698 / 52°52'11"N

Longitude: -1.874 / 1°52'26"W

OS Eastings: 408580.829312

OS Northings: 330265.17659

OS Grid: SK085302

Mapcode National: GBR 394.11J

Mapcode Global: WHCFW.54X8

Entry Name: Thorntree House moated site

Scheduled Date: 13 June 1968

Last Amended: 14 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009075

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13510

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Marchington

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Uttoxeter St Mary Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument is Thorntree House moated site, a double-island moated site
situated 60m north-west of the modern Thorntree House. The main island
measures c.76m by 59m and contains a low raised central platform some 17m
square by 0.1m high. In the south-west of the island, and parallel to the
moat, lie two rectangular fishponds. The northerly one measures 16m by 8m and
is 0.4m deep; the southerly one measures 20m by 9m and is 0.4m deep. Both
ponds are connected to the moat's south-western arm by short outlet channels.
In the north-west of the island is a boggy irregularly shaped hollow 35m by
11m by 0.2m deep that is connected to the moat's north-western arm by a short
channel. To the north-east of the main island is a secondary island measuring
c.39m by 35m. A causeway connects the two islands. Surrounding both islands is
a largely waterlogged moat 10-14m wide by 2m deep that is flanked
by an outer bank 9m wide and 0.1m high that runs from the mid-point of the
south-western arm to the southern corner. The moat's north-eastern arm and the
northern ends of the north-western and south-eastern arms have been infilled,
as has the northern end of the moated arm separating the two islands.
All field boundaries and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling but
the ground beneath these features is included.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 monument is a rare and unusual example in Staffordshire of a double-island
moated site. Despite some infilling of the moat and slight mutilation of the
north-eastern island the monument remains in good condition. It is unexcavated
and remains unencumbered by modern development. Evidence of the original
buildings occupying the islands will survive and organic material will be
preserved within the waterlogged moat.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Staffs County Council, , Thorn Tree Farm Scounslow Green: Biological Survey, (1990), 1-7
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Map associated with SMR No 174, Staffs SMR, Thorntree House: Uttoxeter Rural,

Source: Historic England

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