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Lawn Farm moated site and two ponds

A Scheduled Monument in Bentilee and Ubberley, Stoke-on-Trent

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Latitude: 53.0079 / 53°0'28"N

Longitude: -2.1305 / 2°7'49"W

OS Eastings: 391338.910635

OS Northings: 345622.949693

OS Grid: SJ913456

Mapcode National: GBR MXJ.B8

Mapcode Global: WHBCV.7NQG

Entry Name: Lawn Farm moated site and two ponds

Scheduled Date: 12 January 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011060

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21524

County: Stoke-on-Trent

Electoral Ward/Division: Bentilee and Ubberley

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 at Lawn Farm, Bucknall is situated in a wide valley and includes
a moated site and two associated ponds.
All features on the site are aligned on a NW-SE axis, the ponds lying to the
south-east of the moat. The moated site has external dimensions of
approximately 120m NW-SE by 90m NE-SW. The north-eastern arm of the moat and
part of the north-eastern edge of the moated island are overlaid by the
embankment of a disused mineral railway but will survive as buried features.
The north-western and south-eastern arms of the moat are approximately 13.5m
wide and an average of 2m deep. The south-western arm measures up to 35m wide.
There is a retaining bank at the north-western corner of the site which
controlled the water supply within the moat. The dumping of industrial waste
material on the south-western edge of the site has overlain and obscured the
outer edge of the south-western arm of the moat, which will survive as a
buried feature.
The moat is partly waterlogged and fed by the stream which flows through the
eastern pond and through the eastern arm of the moat in a culvert. The moated
island is under rough pasture and measures approximately 65m square. It is
raised above the surrounding ground surface. The south-western edge of the
moated island is slightly lower than the rest of the island and a ramp-like
feature has been cut into its southern corner.
A second retaining bank, which is adjacent to and south of the moated site, is
visible for a length of approximately 100m and measures up to 2m high. It
forms both the outer edge of the south-eastern arm of the moat and the dam for
water in the two ponds to the south-east. This retaining bank would have
originally extended eastwards but has been buried by the railway embankment
and so is no longer visible. There is a small breach in the
western half of the dam. The two ponds lie adjacent to each other: both
project southwards for approximately 180m and there is a raised embankment
between them. The retaining bank visible at the southern edge of the eastern
pond would have controlled the water supply from the stream into the western
A preliminary investigation of the site in 1966 included three excavation
trenches and a resistivity survey. A trench on the platform exposed a well
constructed stone foundation wall, roughly semi-circular and with footings
embedded in clay. Green-glazed pottery retrieved during the excavation has
been dated to the late 14th or early 15th centuries. The site is believed to
have been in the demesne of Fenton Vivian-cum-Botteslow and was described in
1843 as an isolated farm within the ambit of Botteslow called the Lawn.

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 and associated earthworks at Lawn Farm in Bucknall are a good
example of a combined moated site and water management system in a broad
valley bottom. The features all survive well and are unencumbered by modern
buildings. The site has been the subject of trial excavations which have
indicated the survival of important structural and artefactual evidence for
the type and period of occupation and for the economy of the moated site's
inhabitants. Only a small proportion of the site has been excavated and
substantial important deposits will survive undisturbed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pape, T, 'Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club' in History, , Vol. 61, (1927), 136
Stanyer, S C, Brayford, S E, 'Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society Report' in Preliminary Excavation of Lawn Farm Moated Site, Bucknall, , Vol. 2, (1966), 7-10

Source: Historic England

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