Ancient Monuments

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Hodge Lane Manor, a moated site with fishponds and associated closes

A Scheduled Monument in Marchington, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.8625 / 52°51'44"N

Longitude: -1.8407 / 1°50'26"W

OS Eastings: 410821.920044

OS Northings: 329456.073662

OS Grid: SK108294

Mapcode National: GBR 395.HFZ

Mapcode Global: WHCFW.P9PW

Entry Name: Hodge Lane Manor, a moated site with fishponds and associated closes

Scheduled Date: 23 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011067

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21534

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Marchington

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Marchington Woodlands St John

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument is situated 130m south-west of St John's Church, Smithy Hill and
includes a large building platform which was probably originally moated, a
fishpond complex with its associated water management system and two small
closes. The extent of the manor site is defined by boundary earthworks on its
western, northern and southern edges, and by Hodge Lane on its eastern edge.
These features enclose a rectangular area of approximately 2.5 hectares.
The earthwork remains of the building platform are situated within the
northern part of the monument and the platform has been cut into a
south-facing slope. The platform is raised approximately 0.5m above the
surrounding ground surface and measures approximately 60m north-south and 80m
west-east. There is an extension to the platform at its north-eastern corner
which projects approximately 24m eastwards. The platform is considered to be
the site of a large manor house.
There is a waterfilled ditch along the northern and north-western edges of the
platform. These features also form the northern boundary to the manorial
complex as a whole. An infilled ditch is visible at the eastern edge of the
platform and, whilst there is no surface evidence for a ditch along its
southern boundary, it is thought that the ditch originally extended along
this side as well and so the platform would have been completely surrounded
by a moat. The line of the ditch has been slightly altered on its
north-western side where a pond has formed. There is a shallow depression
visible to the west of the platform which is the outflow channel for the moat.
The channel runs north-south in the modern pasture and marks the western
boundary to the manorial complex. The southern boundary ditch is a similar
earthwork feature and it has a west-east alignment.
The fishpond complex at the site of Hodge Lane manor house is situated
approximately 50m to the south of the building platform. The group of ponds
and their associated drainage channels are now dry. The complex includes one
main pond and three smaller, subsidiary ponds. The larger pond measures
approximately 30m north-south by 20m west-east. A number of sluices would have
originally controlled the water supply within each individual pond. An outflow
channel, visible as a shallow depression, can be traced at the southern edge
of the fishpond complex.
Within the eastern part of the manorial complex are the earthwork remains of
two small closes. The closes are defined by slight banks, the northern
measures approximately 30m square whilst the southern is approximately 90m
north-south and 30m east-west.
The field in which the monument is located was called Moat Meadow on the 1810
Enclosure Map.
All fence posts and the hedge on the eastern edge of the monument 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.

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 at Hodge Lane is a well-preserved example of a complete manorial
site with a moated manor house platform, associated fishponds and closes,
all confined within a near-complete boundary ditch. The site is unexcavated
and unencumbered by modern development. Evidence of the building that
originally occupied the platform will exist as buried features and evidence
will be preserved within the naturally silted ditches for the economy and
environment of its inhabitants.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Woolley, P, Ellwood, J, The History of Marchington, (1989), 59
Title: Marchington Woodlands Tithe Map
Source Date: 1851

Source: Historic England

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