Ancient Monuments

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Simfields moated site.

A Scheduled Monument in Werrington, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.0193 / 53°1'9"N

Longitude: -2.1191 / 2°7'8"W

OS Eastings: 392104.45582

OS Northings: 346897.085499

OS Grid: SJ921468

Mapcode National: GBR MZD.S5

Mapcode Global: WHBCV.FC3N

Entry Name: Simfields moated site.

Scheduled Date: 29 October 1968

Last Amended: 21 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009965

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13466

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Werrington

Built-Up Area: Stoke-on-Trent

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Bucknall

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument is a moated site that includes an island surrounded by a
predominantly dry moat. The grass covered raised island measures c.48m x 30m
and is surrounded by a moat partly infilled on the N side but elsewhere
measuring c.12m wide x 1.5m max. depth. The moat is generally dry but
remains boggy in its W arm where it is fed by spring water through an inlet
channel at the SW corner. A second inlet channel, now dry, enters the moat at
the SE corner. The moat is flanked on all sides by outer banks varying in
width between 7-10m and varying in height between 0.1 - 0.5m. A hollow ditch
leads downhill from the moat's NE corner. On the N side of the moat, at the
edge of a 10m wide flat area beyond the outer bank, is a low enclosure bank
0.2m high running along the edge of a steep declivity.
The moated site at Simfields was the seat of the Verdons before Alton Castle.
All wooden poles carrying an electricity cable are excluded from the
scheduling. The ground beneath them, however, 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.

Despite being partly infilled along its N arm the monument survives in good
condition, its earthworks being particularly evident. The site is
unencumbered by modern development and will retain considerable archaeological
evidence of structural foundations associated with the building occupied by
the Verdons prior to their departure to Alton Castle.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)
P.R. No. 180, Staffordshire SMR, Simfields: Caverswall,
To Robinson, K D MPPFW, Mr R Green (tenant farmer),

Source: Historic England

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