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Moated site and associated ponds

A Scheduled Monument in Upton Cressett, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5288 / 52°31'43"N

Longitude: -2.5093 / 2°30'33"W

OS Eastings: 365548.08469

OS Northings: 292442.72392

OS Grid: SO655924

Mapcode National: GBR BV.FWG7

Mapcode Global: VH83G.GP9T

Entry Name: Moated site and associated ponds

Scheduled Date: 23 November 1992

Last Amended: 29 October 2012

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013512

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13688

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Upton Cressett

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Monkhopton with Upton Cressett

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Summary

The earthwork and buried remains of a moated site and associated water features at Upton Cressett Hall. Although medieval in origin, they appear to have been remodelled to create an ornamental garden during the late C16 or early C17. Within the moated island are the buried archaeological remains of the earlier manor house and those demolished parts of the present mid-C15 house.

Source: Historic England

Details

The moated site is orientated north-west to south-east and has maximum dimensions of approximately 70m north-west to south-east and 60m south-west to north-east. Where the moat ditch survives as a visible earthwork, around the northern half of the site, it is up to 15m wide and between 2m and 3m deep. The southern sections of the south-west and north-west ditches have been mostly infilled and partly built over, but they will survive as buried features. The south-east arm of the moat has also been infilled and landscaped; its exact position cannot therefore be determined and it is not included in the scheduling. There is an outer retaining bank 1m high and 3m wide running the full length of the north-west and part of the north-east arm before it turns outwards slightly towards lower-lying land to the east. This feature is roughly parallel to the north-west elevation of the house and may be part of the remodelling carried out during the late C16/early C17. It probably represents the remains of a raised walkway from which both the house and the C12 church could be viewed.

The area defined by the moat ditches has been artificially raised; its south-east corner and much of the north-east side are occupied by the Grade I listed Upton Cressett Hall. This building comprises the remains of a mid-C15 aisled open hall house and a late-C15 cross wing and was altered in the late C16 and again in subsequent centuries. An historic building survey and evidence within the fabric of the building indicate that the aisled hall has been truncated, probably in the 1580s when the house was refashioned, and that it originally extended south-eastwards and may also have included further ranges which have since been demolished.

Adjacent to the north-west side of the moated site is a series of broad depressions, partly embanked, representing ponds constructed along the course of the stream. A linear bank, some 120m in length, runs parallel with the north side of the stream, and there are further banks at right angles to this one and also to the south which together define the ponds. These features have been somewhat degraded and the retaining dam has been breached, but they survive as earthworks. The ponds lie side by side; the larger one to the north-east measures approximately 12m by 60m, while that to the south-west is roughly 20m by 35m. The ponds may have medieval origins and were subsequently modified to form part of a late-C16/early-C17 ornamental water garden enhancing the grounds of Upton Cressett Hall, as well as being used for keeping fish. The stream and moat are supplied with water by springs located to the west of the site.

Upton Cressett Hall which is listed at Grade I, the agricultural buildings overlying the southern end of the south-west moat arm, the surfaces of paths and driveways, boundary walls, and all fencing and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The moated site and associated water features at Upton Cressett Hall, together with the buried archaeological remains of the earlier manor house and those demolished parts of the present mid-C15 house are scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: a well-preserved group of archaeological remains which, despite some landscaping in the late C20, represent the growth and development of this site from a moated medieval manor house to the ornamental water gardens of a fashionable late-C16 residence; as such they exhibit considerable longevity as monument types;
* Potential: buried archaeological evidence for the layout and types of structures that formerly occupied the moated island will survive beneath the ground surface, whilst the moat ditches and the ponds will retain artefactual and environmental information relating to the occupation of the site and their subsequent re-modelling;
* Historic interest: the post-medieval re-modelling of the moated site and the ponds to create an ornamental garden reflects the status and wealth of the Cressett family and will provide a valuable insight into garden design at that time;
* Group value: they have strong group value with Upton Cressett Hall, its gatehouse and the former Church of St Michael, all of which are listed at Grade I, as well as the scheduled medieval settlement to the south-east. Taken together, these all provide evidence for the development of Upton Cressett since at least the C12, if not earlier.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Moran, M, Vernacular Buildings of Shropshire, (2003), 504-506
Other
Information from SMR and EH listing, SMR, Upton Cressett Hall, (1991)
MPP Single Class Description, Post-Medieval Formal Gardens, 1997,

Source: Historic England

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