Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Aston Magna

A Scheduled Monument in Blockley, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 52.0185 / 52°1'6"N

Longitude: -1.7061 / 1°42'22"W

OS Eastings: 420262.951906

OS Northings: 235607.213231

OS Grid: SP202356

Mapcode National: GBR 4NY.FGD

Mapcode Global: VHBYS.CJWG

Entry Name: Moated site at Aston Magna

Scheduled Date: 15 January 1969

Last Amended: 24 September 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016081

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28849

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Blockley

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Blockley St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a moated site in a hilltop position in the Cotswolds on
the east side of Aston Magna village. The site is traditionally known as Aston
Magna Castle.
The moated site includes a central flat area approximately 110m north-south
and approximately 100m east-west, surrounded by a moat, with a part internal
and an external bank. The central area is approximately 0.5m higher than the
ground outside the moat and is uneven and pitted by quarrying. There are
intermittent traces of an inner bank approximately 0.2m high particularly on
the west side. The depression indicating the position of the moat can be seen
on all sides except the north west where it is breached by the entrance. The
moat varies in width between 10m and 16m, and is approximately 1m deep. The
external bank is raised slightly at the south east corner, standing
approximately 0.2m high, but for the whole circuit of the moat the external
bank is spread, extending approximately 12m downslope to the south and 10m on
the north and east sides. On the west side there are earthworks representing
an entrance to the moated site which, at the north edge of the breach in the
moat, extend approximately 20m westwards, and at the south breach extend
12m westwards.
The site is thought to be connected with the Jordans, who were the tenants of
the Bishop of Worcester in 1182. It has previously been reported that the site
is surrounded by the ridge and furrow marks of medieval ploughing.
All post and wire fences, three telegraph poles and their supports are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is

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 known as Aston Magna Castle survives well and will contain
archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to the moated
site and the landscape in which it was constructed. There is evidence of
related earthworks consisting of ridge and furrow, indicating medieval
ploughing, surrounding the moated site. There is also documentary evidence to
associate the site with a tenant in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Record No 375, Gloucestershire Sites and Monuments Record,

Source: Historic England

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