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Moated site immediately east of the Church of St Peter

A Scheduled Monument in Rous Lench, Worcestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.1781 / 52°10'41"N

Longitude: -1.9789 / 1°58'44"W

OS Eastings: 401538.592324

OS Northings: 253314.002934

OS Grid: SP015533

Mapcode National: GBR 2HZ.JHJ

Mapcode Global: VHB0D.NJ64

Entry Name: Moated site immediately east of the Church of St Peter

Scheduled Date: 26 October 1973

Last Amended: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016477

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31955

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Rous Lench

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Rous Lench

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site at
Rous Lench situated immediately to the east of the Church of St Peter and 400m
north east of Rous Lench Court. The village of Rous Lench is one of a number
of closely spaced villages collectively known as `The Lenches'. The manor of
`Lenc' is recorded in 1062 when it was acquired by the church of Worcester and
it is likely that the moat may contain occupation levels prior to this date.
The name of the village `Rous Lench' derives from the names of the lords of
the manor. In about 1175 Randolph de Lench was recorded as having paid 40
marks for pardon for trespass in the Royal Forest of Feckenham whilst the
remainder of the name was acquired following the sale of the manor to John
Rous in 1387.

The moat ditch is waterlogged and approximately 6m wide by 1m to 2m deep. A
sluice is situated in the north west corner, and 10m to the east of the sluice
is an irregular projection of the moat to the north measuring approximately
10m by 15m, believed to be for watering stock. The moat ditch encloses a 94m
by 76m island which is one of the largest such moat islands in the area. The
island is now entered from the north east corner across a silted portion of
the ditch, however, there is no evidence of the original entrance. The island
is undisturbed and contains a number of earthwork features including an
internal bank approximately 10m wide by 0.5m to 1m high which is evident on
all four sides. Within this bank is an `L' shaped central depression
approximately 6m wide by 1m deep which is thought to be the site of the former
manor house. The southern arm of the depression runs from west to east for
approximately 14m, from which point it runs north for approximately 32m. There
is a shallow hollow way leading from the south eastern corner of the moat
towards Rous Lench Court, but this is not included in the scheduling.

To the south of the moat are very indistinct earthworks believed to represent
medieval settlement. These remains have become badly degraded over time and
are also not included in the scheduling.

All modern fencing is excluded from the scheduling, although 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 at Rous Lench survives as a largely undisturbed and well
preserved example of a medieval moated site. The island will preserve
evidence of former structures, including both domestic and ancillary
buildings and their associated occupation levels. It is believed that late
Saxon occupation levels may also be preserved below the medieval remains
providing evidence for settlement continuity and change over time. The
earthwork and buried remains will preserve artefactual and environmental
material illustrating the nature of use of the site and the lifestyle of its
inhabitants in addition to providing evidence which will facilitate the dating
of the construction and subsequent periods of use of the moat.

In addition, the waterlogged condition of the moat will preserve environmental
information about the ecosystem, environment and landscape in which it was
set.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County, (1913), 498,499
Other
HBMC Schedule, (1987)
Record Cards, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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