Ancient Monuments

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Westhope moat and fishpond

A Scheduled Monument in Diddlebury, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4686 / 52°28'6"N

Longitude: -2.7867 / 2°47'11"W

OS Eastings: 346656.52462

OS Northings: 285918.571044

OS Grid: SO466859

Mapcode National: GBR BH.KLMR

Mapcode Global: VH767.N65X

Entry Name: Westhope moat and fishpond

Scheduled Date: 6 January 1976

Last Amended: 13 July 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010373

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13686

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Diddlebury

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Diddlebury

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


Westhope moat and fishpond lie to the south-west of Westhope village, 400m
south-south-west of Westhope Hall. The moat island is surrounded by a wide
flat bottomed ditch, 2m deep and 10m to 12m wide, which is mainly
waterlogged. There is an outer bank on the east arm of the moat ditch, with
slight traces of a second curving outer bank on the north-east corner. The
main outer bank on the eastern arm is 1m high and 3m wide. It extends
southwards beyond the moat and across the stream to form a dam which retains
water for the moat and fishpond. The south ditch of the moat is bordered by
the stream. The moat island is 40m square and has undulations suggesting the
presence of buried foundations. On the north-east corner of the island a
causeway 2.5m wide crosses the ditch.
On the south-west corner of the moat lie the remains of a rectangular fishpond
measuring 20m north-south and 10m east-west. The pond site is waterlogged and
connected to the stream by a shallow channel on its north-west corner.
The moat and fishpond lie at a distance from the village of Westhope and may
have been constructed during the 13th and 14th centuries when woodland was
systematically cleared for agricultural purposes. In the last century the
moat was water-filled. According to local tradition the moat island is
considered to be the site of `The Castle', a building which was at one time
fortified for military use.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Westhope moat and associated fishpond is a well preserved example of a
medieval homestead moat with a water management system. The monument is
essentially undisturbed and will retain considerable potential for the
preservation of archaeological and environmental evidence.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Dyer, , History of Westhope

Source: Historic England

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