Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 150m south east of St Mary's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Kentchurch, Herefordshire,

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Latitude: 51.9257 / 51°55'32"N

Longitude: -2.8438 / 2°50'37"W

OS Eastings: 342072.849497

OS Northings: 225574.367566

OS Grid: SO420255

Mapcode National: GBR FD.NZ31

Mapcode Global: VH78Q.NVGN

Entry Name: Moated site 150m south east of St Mary's Church

Scheduled Date: 1 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014892

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27540

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Kentchurch

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Kentchurch

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site, situated in the Monnow Valley at the foot of a west facing slope. The
site is located at the entrance to Kentchurch Park (Deer Park), approximately
250m south west of Kentchurch Court which was, in origin, a 14th century
The moated island is square in plan and measures 40m NNW-SSE by 42m WSW-ENE.
It is surrounded on all sides by a ditch averaging 12m wide, which survives to
a depth of c.1.5m on the north west side. The ditch has become infilled on the
south and east sides, however it will survive here as a buried feature. A 1949
survey of the site recorded an external bank flanking the western, northern,
and eastern arms of the moat, however this feature has now been removed and is
not included in the scheduling.
Evidence for the original entrance to the moated island, represented by a
causeway across the eastern arm and which appeared on the same survey, will
survive as buried features.
Such simple square moats are often found ornamenting medieval hunting lodges,
and this site may well have been constructed soon after the enclosure
of the deer park.
All fences around the monument are excluded from the scheduling, but the
ground beneath them is included.

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 150m south east of St Mary's Church is a good example of this
class of monument. The platform area will retain evidence for the original
buildings and for activities that took place there, allowing the use of the
site to be understood. Material that has accumulated in the ditch since its
construction will preserve environmental evidence for activity at and around
the moat, and evidence for structures such as a causeway will be preserved in
the infilled eastern arm of the ditch. When viewed as part of a group
including Kentchurch Court itself and its associated deer park, the monument
assists our understanding of the social organisation of the county and the
leisure pursuits of the medieval aristocracy.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, , Herefordshire, south west, (1931), 153
mss, held on SMR, RCHM, Kentchurch (S of Court), (1949)
R2 MP 13/4/69, (1969)

Source: Historic England

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