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Moated site 60m south west of Old Court Farm, Hemhill

A Scheduled Monument in Lugwardine, Herefordshire,

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.0679 / 52°4'4"N

Longitude: -2.6575 / 2°39'26"W

OS Eastings: 355025.497263

OS Northings: 241265.195837

OS Grid: SO550412

Mapcode National: GBR FN.CX0L

Mapcode Global: VH85P.W9G2

Entry Name: Moated site 60m south west of Old Court Farm, Hemhill

Scheduled Date: 15 May 1953

Last Amended: 1 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014883

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27523

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Lugwardine

Built-Up Area: Lugwardine

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Lugwardine with Bartestree

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site, situated on gently sloping ground in the centre of the village of
Hemhill. The moat was originally roughly square in plan, with sides 93m
long. Its north east corner has been infilled, and is now partly occupied by
the garden of Old Court Farm, however the ditch here will survive as a buried
feature, and a fall in ground level at the south end of the garden gives an
indication of its original extent. An artificially straightened stream now
runs south east-north west across this infilled section, from a pond which has
been extended north westwards onto the edge of the infilled area. To the south
the moat is partly bordered by a graveyard, and to the north west by private
gardens. In the north west corner the ground drops away sharply beyond the
moat to the stream below. The moat ditch is now dry and is up to 18m wide. Its
south west and south east corners are squared and very distinct and the
southern arm of the ditch averages 2m deep. The west and east arms become
gradually shallower further north. The southern half of the eastern arm is
visible as a depression, flanked by a low external bank. Further north the
ditch is infilled and the extension of the pond has removed the external bank
in the north east corner. In the south east corner of the moated enclosure is
a slightly raised platform supporting thicker grass growth than elsewhere,
roughly square in plan, and measuring c.10m by 10m. This feature represents
the remains of a building which dates from the medieval occupation of the
site, and further evidence for its construction and function will survive
below ground. Similar indications of structural remains have been recorded
elsewhere on the platform in the past.
The moated site forms part of the wider picture of medieval occupation of
Herefordshire, and the proximity of Old Court Farm illustrates the continuity
of lordly occupation in the vicinity.
The drainage inspection covers, all fences and gates around and across the
monument, the telegraph pole in the south east corner, and the sluice across
the north east corner, are excluded from the scheduling, however the ground
beneath all these features 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 at Hemhill survives well as both earthwork and below ground
remains. The moated platform will retain evidence for the medieval buildings
which occupied it, including post holes, and for the activities which took
place there, allowing the original and any subsequent uses of the site to be
dated and understood. Material that has accumulated in the ditch since its
construction will preserve environmental evidence for activity at and around
the moat. Evidence for structures such as a bridge will also be preserved by
these ditch fills, or buried in the infilled parts of the northern and eastern
arms of the ditch. The counterscarp bank will retain evidence for its
construction and for any defensive barrier which may have surmounted it. In
addition, the old ground surface sealed beneath it will preserve evidence for
land use immediately prior to the construction of the monument.

When viewed alongside other examples in the region the moated site at Hemhill
assists our understanding of the social organisation of the county in the
medieval period, and the close relationship between the moated site and Old
Court Farm illustrates the continuation of lordly occupation in this vicinity
into the post-medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Edmundson, , Lugwardine in the nineteenth century, (1994)
Other

AM12, Richardson, R, (1979)
IAM comment on FMW report, TLJ, (1952)

Source: Historic England

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