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Moated site immediately west of the Church of St Mary

A Scheduled Monument in Doverdale, Worcestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.2919 / 52°17'30"N

Longitude: -2.2073 / 2°12'26"W

OS Eastings: 385955.935199

OS Northings: 265995.719263

OS Grid: SO859659

Mapcode National: GBR 1F0.6RJ

Mapcode Global: VH927.PNFC

Entry Name: Moated site immediately west of the Church of St Mary

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016479

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31952

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Doverdale

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Doverdale

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a moated site and
associated earthworks, immediately west of the Church of St Mary at Doverdale.
The monument is on undulating land 175m east of the Doverdale Brook which
forms the boundary between the small parish of Doverdale and the adjoining
Ombersley parish.

The manor is known to have been held by Thurbern, a thegn of King Edward the
Confessor, from whom it passed shortly after the Norman Conquest to Urse
D'Abitot before finally passing into the ownership of the lords of Elmley
Castle in 1086. From 1086 however, the land was held from Elmley Castle by the
de Doverdales. The moat is believed to be the site of their manor house which
was destroyed by fire in 1850.

The moat is sub-rectangular in plan, with rounded corners, and encloses a
level sub-circular island measuring approximately 34m by 46m. The moat ditch
is dry except for a pond which projects from the southern edge of the ditch
for approximately 15m and a waterlogged area in the south east corner. Access
to the island was gained via a causeway in the centre of the western arm of
the moat. Further earthworks to the south and east of the moat were recorded
by M Aston in 1969 and included a hollow way from the east of the moat to the
south west corner of the churchyard, which is enclosed by a revetted ditch. A
rectangular enclosure measuring 40m by 80m containing a shallow depression in
its south east corner, is located to the south east of the moat, south of the
parish church. The enclosure is degraded and is not therefore included in the
scheduling. Extending for 30m southwards from the south west angle of the moat
ditch is a linear outcrop of sandstone with the remains of stone walling on
part of it.

To the north west of the moat a quarry approximately 10m deep contains a ramp
down to the quarry floor. It is not known whether the quarry has medieval
origins or is associated with later industry, for example, the nearby post-
medieval mill or the Victorian church rebuilding. For these reasons the quarry
is 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.

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 immediately west of St Mary's Church at Doverdale survives
well as an example of a small medieval manorial moat, believed to have
originated prior to the Norman Conquest. The island is expected to preserve
evidence for former structures, including both domestic and ancillary
buildings and their associated occupation levels. These remains will
illustrate the nature and 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.
The moat ditch will be expected to preserve earlier deposits including
evidence of its construction and any alterations during its active history.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Light, H, The Victoria History of the County, (1913), 69
Other
various, Record Cards, (1960)

Source: Historic England

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