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Caludon Castle: a moated site and part of an associated water management system

A Scheduled Monument in Wyken, Coventry

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Latitude: 52.4182 / 52°25'5"N

Longitude: -1.4517 / 1°27'6"W

OS Eastings: 437386.386241

OS Northings: 280163.729904

OS Grid: SP373801

Mapcode National: GBR HVJ.55

Mapcode Global: VHBWZ.SHD2

Entry Name: Caludon Castle: a moated site and part of an associated water management system

Scheduled Date: 12 February 1925

Last Amended: 4 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014044

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21615

County: Coventry

Electoral Ward/Division: Wyken

Built-Up Area: Coventry

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Stoke St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Coventry


The monument is situated within a public recreation area on the eastern
outskirts of Coventry and includes the ruins, earthwork and buried remains of
the moated site known as Caludon Castle and part of its associated water
management system.
At the end of the 12th century the Earl of Chester granted Caludon to Stephen
de Segrave. He is believed to have been responsible for erecting the first
house at the site and was granted a licence to crenallate it in 1305.
Following the death of John, Lord Seagrave in 1353, Caludon passed to his
daughter and her husband John de Mowbray, who are thought to have obtained a
further licence in 1354 and rebuilt the original house. Caludon Castle fell
into disrepair towards the end of the 14th century when Thomas Mowbray, the
Earl of Norfolk, was banished by Richard II. In c.1580 the house was rebuilt
by Lord Berkeley and further structural additions were made by the Berkeleys
during the early 17th century. In 1631 Caludon was sold to Thomas Morgan, but
it was abandoned shortly after. The site was reoccupied from the 18th century
onwards when Caludon House was constructed within the eastern part of the
moated island. This former farmhouse was demolished in the 1960s.
The moated site has external dimensions of 80m north to south and
approximately 100m east to west. The moat ditches are now dry and are up to
15m wide. The eastern moat ditch has been infilled, perhaps towards the end of
the 18th century, prior to the construction of Caludon House in order to
provide easier access. The infilled moat ditch will survive as a buried
feature and is included in the scheduling. There is a causeway across the
northern arm of the moat which is shown on the 1835 Ordnance Survey map, but
documentary records indicate that the original access onto the moated island
was via a bridge. The moated island is raised above the surrounding ground
surface and is approximately 0.4ha in area. In the northern half of the
island, aligned with the northern moat arm, is a length of standing masonry
which is 2m thick, 10m high and 12.5m long. Constructed of ashlar blocks of
grey sandstone with red sandstone dressings, it represents the north wall of a
building which occupied this part of the moated island. The wall contains two
decorated windows with fragments of mid-14th century tracery of cinque foil
form, which are believed to have belonged to a first floor hall. Jambs of
similar windows form the two ends of the standing masonry, indicating that the
hall was at least four bays in length. Beneath the complete windows are those
of an undercroft, between which are the remains of a flue which rises through
the thickness of the wall. Medieval documentary records indicate that a tile
covered building of four bays which was located on the moated island was
damaged in 1385 and the standing masonry is thought to represent its remains.
It would thus date from Caludon Castle's rebuilding under licence in 1354. It
is Listed Grade I and is included in the scheduling. There is no surface
evidence for the 16th and 17th century structural additions to Caludon Castle
but they will survive as buried features on the moated island. The area
immediately to the north of the moated site, although now dry, was a pool,
extending over an area of approximately 5ha to the north and north west of
Caludon Castle. The earthwork remains of the pool's retaining banks are
visible to the west and north east of the moated site. The north eastern bank
is a substantial earthwork and map evidence indicates that it has also served
as the approach road to the moated site from at least the early 19th century.
The retaining bank to the west has been much reduced in height but can be
traced as a slight earthwork running westwards from the northern end of the
western moat ditch for approximately 80m before it terminates against the
modern housing development. Both of the retaining banks, together with a 10m
wide sample section of the floor of the pool adjacent to the banks and the
northern moat ditch, are included in the scheduling to provide evidence of the
relationship between the pool and Caludon Castle itself.
Approximately 110m to the south of Caludon Castle are the earthwork remains of
a second moated site which is the subject of a separate scheduling.
The surface of the access road, and the modern building at the south eastern
corner of the site are excluded from the scheduling although 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.

Caludon Castle is a well preserved example of a moated site together with an
associated water management system. The moated site will retain structural and
artefactual evidence for both the original house which existed here from the
end of the 12th century, for the later rebuilding and additions in the mid-
14th century, and for the additions made during the early post-medieval
period. The moat ditches and the sample section of the floor of the pool will
retain both artefactual and environmental information regarding the occupation
of Caludon Castle and for the economy of its inhabitants as well as the
landscape in which it was set. Additionally the existence of the pool to the
north of the moated site provides evidence for the wider setting of the house,
and thus an insight into the way in which the wealth and social status of its
occupants in the medieval and early post-medieval periods was made manifest.
The interest of Caludon Castle is enhanced by the survival of contemporary
documentary records which relate to the site's ownership and the buildings
that existed here. As a monument which is open to the public, Caludon Castle
serves as a valuable educational and recreational resource.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Salter, M, The Castles and Moated Mansions of the West Midlands, (1989), 47
Tomlinson, M, The Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire, (1969), 122
Tomlinson, M, The Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire, (1969), 121

Source: Historic England

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