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Moated site, four pond bays and an associated enclosure at Willoughbridge Park

A Scheduled Monument in Loggerheads, Staffordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.9492 / 52°56'57"N

Longitude: -2.3847 / 2°23'5"W

OS Eastings: 374244.936819

OS Northings: 339164.398545

OS Grid: SJ742391

Mapcode National: GBR 7Z.L97X

Mapcode Global: WH9BZ.B4NC

Entry Name: Moated site, four pond bays and an associated enclosure at Willoughbridge Park

Scheduled Date: 8 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011052

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21515

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Loggerheads

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Ashley St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

Details

The monument includes a moated site, four associated pond bays and a
sub-rectangular enclosure situated 400m south-west of Willoughbridge Wells.
All features of the site are aligned end-on from SSE-NNW, the pond bays lying
to the south of the moated site and the enclosure to the north. The moated
site has external dimensions of 100m NW-SE by 90m NE-SW. The moat is up to 16m
wide and averages 3m deep. It is now dry, although the stream which supplied
water to the moat flows through the south-western arm of the moat. The stream
is separated from an open drain by a low bank; this arrangement appears to be
post-medieval. There are external banks at the northern and north-eastern
outer edges of the moat. The moated island is under rough pasture, measures
70m NW-SE and 60m NE-SW and is raised above the surrounding land. There is no
surface evidence for the location of the original access.
A bank at the south-western edge of the moated site forms the retaining bank
for the first of four ponds which are situated to the south of the moated
site. The retaining bank is visible as an earthwork for a length of 50m and
the pond formed to the south of the bank is now dry. Approximately 70m south-
east of the moated site is a second retaining bank which is 20m long and 1m
high. The earthwork originally extended beyond the eastern edge of the stream
but this area is currently under cultivation and the bank is no longer visible
at ground level and is not included in the scheduling. The third retaining
bank is situated a further 80m upstream and stands approximately 2m high. The
field to the east of the pond is under cultivation and the original eastern
end of the retaining bank is no longer visible and is therefore not included
in the scheduling. The pond created by this earthwork extended for a further
80m to the south and its extent is included in the scheduling: it is partly
waterfilled. A fourth retaining bank is visible approximately 320m south-east
of the moated site. The dam measures 1.5m high and is visible for a length of
up to 40m. The south-western end of the dam has been destroyed and is no
longer visible on the ground surface and is therefore not included in the
scheduling.
A sub-rectangular area of approximately 80m NW-SE by 60m NE-SW extends to the
north of the moated site. The northern and north-eastern edges of the
enclosure are bounded by slight earthworks in an area under cultivation. The
external bank north-west of the moated site forms the southern boundary of the
enclosure. It is bounded on its western edge by the stream. The enclosure is
associated with the moated site and may have been used for keeping stock.
The moated site at Willoughbridge Park is thought to have originated with an
early medieval site which enclosed a wooden semi-defensive residence.
Excluded from the scheduling are the modern retaining wall and drainage pipe
located within the stream channel to the south of the moated site, and all
fence posts, but the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

The moated site, the pond bays and the sub-rectangular enclosure at
Willoughbridge survive well and are unencumbered by modern development. The
monument represents a fine example of a combined moat and water-management
complex. The moated island will retain evidence of the medieval house that
existed on the island and the naturally silted ponds and moat ditches will
retain evidence for the environment and economy of the occupants of the moated
site.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Bemrose, G J V, 'Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club' in Archaeology and History, , Vol. 72, (1938), 117

Source: Historic England

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