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Drakenage Farm moated site, a fishpond and associated closes

A Scheduled Monument in Kingsbury, Warwickshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5547 / 52°33'16"N

Longitude: -1.6735 / 1°40'24"W

OS Eastings: 422233.620832

OS Northings: 295254.136859

OS Grid: SP222952

Mapcode National: GBR 5HQ.XBK

Mapcode Global: VHBW8.Y14X

Entry Name: Drakenage Farm moated site, a fishpond and associated closes

Scheduled Date: 14 July 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013769

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21611

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Kingsbury

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Baxterley

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

Details

The monument is situated on relatively low-lying ground within the valley of
the River Tame. It includes a moated site, associated closes, a fishpond and
an area of ridge and furrow cultivation.
The moated site occupies the central part of the site and has external
dimensions of approximately 66m east-west and 58m north-south. The arms of the
moat have been partly infilled, although the northern moat arm and the
northern ends of the western and eastern arms remain distinctly visible as
earthworks and average 12m in width. There are slight traces of an external
bank beyond the northern moat arm. A waterfilled linear pond, approximately
26m long, extends eastwards from the eastern arm of the moat. This feature is
plotted on a mid-19th century tithe map of the site and although its plan has
since been modified, the map clearly indicates that the pond was originally an
ornamental feature. It is thought to have been added sometime after the
construction of the moated site. Access onto the moated island was originally
via a causeway across the central part of the southern moat arm. It is not
visible on the ground surface, but will survive as a buried feature.
The moated island has a relatively level surface and measures approximately
40m west-east and 35m north-south. Documentary references indicate that, in
1497, the moated site was occupied by a `destroyed manor house', however,
during the early to mid-16th century William Hastings leased the site and it
was occupied by John Hartwell. The 1851 tithe map of the site indicates that a
house occupied the central part of the moated island at this date. During the
mid-19th century the house was demolished and replaced by the present
farmhouse to the south of the moated site. Although there is no surface
evidence on the island for the house, it will survive as buried features.
To the west of the moated site is a waterfilled pond which measures 50m by 13m
and has traces of stone revetting along its eastern side. It is marked on the
1851 tithe map and is thought to be medieval in origin. A dry channel is
visible at the north eastern corner of the pond extending eastwards beyond the
moated site. A further channel, 6m in length, links it with the north eastern
corner of the moat. Fed by surface drainage, these channels are thought to
have originally provided part of the water supply to the moat and the western
pond.
To the north of the channel are traces of two blocks of ridge and furrow
cultivation. The western block is aligned north-south and extends northwards
for approximately 110m as far as a field boundary, while that to the east is
aligned west-east. The headland of the eastern block defines the boundary
between the two blocks. A 15m wide sample area of the western block, and a 20m
wide sample area of the ridge and furrow to the east are included in the
scheduling in order to preserve the relationship between the ridge and furrow
and the moated site and its water management system. There is further evidence
of ridge and furrow cultivation to the east and south east of the moated site.
Here, it is partly overlaid by several closes or paddocks which are clearly
later in date and are thought to be associated with the post-medieval
occupation of the moated site. The closes are bounded by shallow,
inter-connecting ditches which are believed to have also served as drainage
channels for surface water. One close, in the north eastern part of the site,
is bounded to the west by the moated site, to the north by the drainage
channel, and to the east and south by ditches and by the pond extending east
from the eastern moat arm. The close situated to the south west, and adjacent
to the moated site, is bounded to the east and south by a ditch which connects
with the pond, and to the west, by the eastern moat arm. It is rectangular in
plan with a raised, level surface and is marked on the tithe map. To the east
are two further closes, one rectangular in plan, and that furthest from the
moated site has a square plan. There are slight traces of ditches to the south
of the closes but they are indistinct and they are not included in the
scheduling. There is also evidence of ridge and furrow cultivation to the
south east of the moated site; it is less distinct and has no direct
relationship with the moated site and its closes, and it is not included in
the scheduling.
The length of walling at the southern edge of the site is not included in the
scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT
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 at Drakenage Farm survives well and is a good example of this
class of monument. Despite some damage in the southern part of the site, the
moated island will retain considerable structural and artefactual evidence for
the house known to have existed here from at least the 15th century. The
relationship between the ridge and furrow and the moated site illustrates the
impact the moated site had on the land use of the surrounding area. The closes
which overlie an area of ridge and furrow to the east of the moated site
provide information on the encroachment of medieval open-field systems by
small enclosed paddocks during the early post-medieval period. Additionally,
the survival of related documentary and cartographic evidence enhances the
importance of the site.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Bond, C J, 'Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeological Society' in DMVs in Warwickshire, , Vol. 86, (1974), 102
Other
Moat at Drakenage Farm - SMR 9,
Title: Kingsbury Tithe Apportionment (CR 328/27/1)
Source Date: 1851
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Wathes, C B, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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