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Moated site in Wassell Wood, 400m south of Trimpley Green

A Scheduled Monument in Kidderminster Foreign, Worcestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.3965 / 52°23'47"N

Longitude: -2.3032 / 2°18'11"W

OS Eastings: 379465.632587

OS Northings: 277648.603635

OS Grid: SO794776

Mapcode National: GBR 0B6.LK9

Mapcode Global: VH91T.1176

Entry Name: Moated site in Wassell Wood, 400m south of Trimpley Green

Scheduled Date: 11 June 1976

Last Amended: 19 June 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014743

English Heritage Legacy ID: 19141

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Kidderminster Foreign

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Wribbenhall

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a moated site,
situated in a strategically strong position on the summit of a small, roughly
north-south orientated spur, and with extensive views over the surrounding
countryside.

The enclosure is rectangular in plan, with maximum dimensions of 120m north
west to south east by 86m transversely. It includes a central platform
measuring 64m by 45m which has been created by a levelling and scarping of the
hilltop to give a level interior surface raised above the surrounding natural
land surface. The platform scarp is clearly defined and varies in height
between 2.5m on its highest west side, and 1.2m on its east side. The site is
defined by a substantial ditch around all sides, averaging 8m wide and 1m
deep. The spoil from this ditch has been thrown outwards to form a large
spread bank up to 12m wide and 1.5m high on its outside. Along the north east
side the outer edge of this bank merges with the natural hillslope, and at its
east end the bank and outer edge of the ditch appear to have been removed,
perhaps by quarrying, and the hillside slopes steeply away. A probable
original entrance lies at the change of slope in the north west corner of the
site. A lowering of the outer bank midway along the south west side appears to
be a later modification. This may be associated with two scooped building
platforms which have been cut into the inner scarp from the ditch bottom at
the south west corner of the moat. Slight surface irregularities visible on
the platform represent the buildings and other structures that originally
occupied the interior.

In shape and form the earthworks show most of the characteristics of medieval
moated enclosures, even though the ditch was clearly not designed to hold
water. The monument is therefore attributed to the medieval period and
described as a moated site.

The fence along the north east side of the monument is excluded from the
scheduling, but the ground beneath it is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

The moated site in Wassell Wood survives in good condition and its hilltop
position and method of construction is unusual for this class of monument. The
platform will retain structural evidence for the building or buildings it
housed, as well as environmental and artefactual evidence for the activities
taking place there. Similarly, the ditch fills will retain archaeological
material relating to occupation and land use, and environmental evidence
relating to the landscape in which the site was constructed. Evidence for
structures such as a bridge will be preserved by the ditch deposits and in
the platform itself. The ground surface sealed beneath the surrounding bank
will preserve evidence for land use immediately before the construction of the
site. The monument forms part of a broader picture of medieval settlement in
Hereford and Worcester, and as such can increase our understanding of the
settlement pattern, economy, and social structure of the region during the
medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Bowen, , The hillforts of Worcestershire and its borders
Nash, T, Collections for the history of Worcestershire
Other
Bond, CJ,

Source: Historic England

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