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Corfham Castle moated site and water management system 460m west of Peaton Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Diddlebury, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.4607 / 52°27'38"N

Longitude: -2.7 / 2°42'0"W

OS Eastings: 352533.675922

OS Northings: 284978.142752

OS Grid: SO525849

Mapcode National: GBR BL.L3Z2

Mapcode Global: VH83R.4DZZ

Entry Name: Corfham Castle moated site and water management system 460m west of Peaton Bridge

Scheduled Date: 20 October 1954

Last Amended: 26 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012857

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19189

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Diddlebury

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Diddlebury

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


Corfham Castle includes the remains of a moated house, an associated moated
enclosure and a water management system occupying the north end of a low ridge
overlooking a shallow coombe to the south west and situated midway between the
River Corve to the west and Pye Brook to the east. Near the centre of the
monument is a roughly rhomboidal moated platform with internal dimensions of
32m both north to south and east to west. Its level surface stands 2m above
the bottom of the surrounding moat and some 0.4m above the level of the
surrounding natural ground surface. Visible on the top of the platform are a
series of surface irregularities and a scatter of broken masonry. These are
the remains of a large rectangular building measuring approximately 24m east
to west by 20m transversely. A linear bank of stone rubble 20m long by 5m wide
and 1m high marks the east side of the building. Circular hollows at the
north west, north east and south east corners of the building probably
represent the foundations of three circular towers each with an approximate
diameter of 6m. A roughly rectangular quarry hollow flanked by a low bank
running south east for 5m from the south west corner of the building may be
the site of a rectangular corner tower. Surrounding the platform is a well
defined moat varying between 15m and 10m wide, and from 0.4m deep in the south
to 1.6m on the north. The south west corner of the moat has been largely
infilled but will survive as a buried feature.
To the immediate north of the moated platform, adjacent to the north side of
the moat is a large rectangular moated enclosure. It lies orientated roughly
north east to south west and has internal dimensions of 70m north west to
south east by 50m transversely. It is enclosed by a substantial ditch up to
16m wide and 3.5m deep externally and 3m internally. Along the north side of
the enclosure there is an inner bank up to 5m wide and 0.9m high. Faint traces
of a similarly positioned bank can be recognised along the east and west sides
of the enclosure. The original entrance to the enclosure probably lay at its
north west angle. However there is some evidence of later alterations in this
area, where the enclosure ditch has been partly infilled and the inner rampart
removed. A well defined channel runs for some 120m from the south east corner
of the enclosure, curving towards the Pye Brook to the east. Though now dry,
this leat would originally have supplied water to the moats. A low mound south
of this supply leat, orientated roughly east to west and measuring some 30m
long by 20m wide and 1.4m high, forms a part of the water control system.
Water from the moat system would have discharged from the south end of the
west arm of the larger moated enclosure, running westwards to join with the
River Corve. All watercourses and both moats are now dry.

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 complex moated site known as Corfham Castle survives well and is a good
example of its class. The moat platform retains valuable information about the
substantial stone building which once stood upon the platform, allowing an
understanding of the date of its construction and the nature of its
occupation. Similarly the interior of the attached enclosure will retain
archaeological evidence relating to the period of its construction and the
character of its use. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in
which the moats were built and the economy of the inhabitants will be
preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the moat platform, which
stands higher than the surrounding natural ground surface. Similar
environmental evidence, possibly including organic material, will be preserved
in the fill of the moat ditches and the associated water channels. The site
represents a large and important moated complex and such monuments, when
considered as single sites or as a part of a larger archaeological landscape,
contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and
social structure of the countryside during the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

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