Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and ancillary enclosure south west of Stafford Castle

A Scheduled Monument in Highfields & Western Downs, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.7914 / 52°47'29"N

Longitude: -2.1534 / 2°9'12"W

OS Eastings: 389749.111655

OS Northings: 321548.09532

OS Grid: SJ897215

Mapcode National: GBR 16W.VSF

Mapcode Global: WHBDZ.W3QC

Entry Name: Moated site and ancillary enclosure SW of Stafford Castle

Scheduled Date: 11 February 1981

Last Amended: 8 November 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011876

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13469

County: Staffordshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Highfields & Western Downs

Built-Up Area: Stafford

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Castle Church St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument is a moated site situated adjacent to the A518 trunk road about
1km SW of Stafford Castle and includes a grassy island measuring c.67m x 43m
surrounded by a dry moat c.15-25m wide x 1.3m deep. A low outer bank c.15m
wide flanks the moat's SW arm and there are traces of earthworks resembling
outer banks flanking the NW and SE arms. To the NE of the moat is a
sub-rectangular grassy ancillary enclosure measuring c.88m x 65m which was
partially moated.
The monument at Castle Church is presumed to have been the manor house of
Edmund of Stafford in the reign of Edward I (1272-1307), and of Ralph Stafford
in the time of Edward III (1312-77)
All fences and hedges are excluded from the scheduling although the ground
beneath all these features 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 some minor levelling of the monument's profile by overploughing the
site remains in good condition, is unencumbered by modern development, and
will retain considerable archaeological evidence of the manor house known to
have existed here during the 13th and 14th centuries. In addition the
existence of a moated ancillary enclosure exemplifies the diversity in form of
this class of monument.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
PRN NO. 798, Staffordshire SMR, Newport Road: Castle Church,
Snowdon, C., AM 107A, (1983)

Source: Historic England

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