Ancient Monuments

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Moated site in Whitcliff Deer Park 375m south east of Comeley Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Ham and Stone, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.6713 / 51°40'16"N

Longitude: -2.4849 / 2°29'5"W

OS Eastings: 366559.667834

OS Northings: 197054.047275

OS Grid: ST665970

Mapcode National: GBR JW.5TY6

Mapcode Global: VH87Q.W854

Entry Name: Moated site in Whitcliff Deer Park 375m south east of Comeley Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016833

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32338

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Ham and Stone

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Berkeley St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a moated site and associated fishpond set on low-lying
ground 375m south east of Comely Farm. It includes a square moat enclosing an
island 27m square, orientated north east-south west. The moat is 12m wide at
its widest point and up to 2m deep. An external bank on the north west side is
about 2.5m wide and 1m high. The southern end of the north west arm has been
widened to form a large pond, while a second pond lies immediately to the
north of the moat. A narrow causeway, providing access to the island and
measuring about 2m across lies in the western corner of the moat, possibly in
its original position. There is no visible evidence for structures on the
island, although they will survive as buried features and can be expected to
include domestic and ancillary buildings.
The date at which the moated site was constructed is uncertain, although it is
most likely to have been at the height of the period when these sites were
being built, between 1250 and 1350. The moated site may have been a hunting
lodge or connected with the management of the deer park which has been
recorded from 1270.
The metal fence which runs north west-south east across the northern
corner of the moat is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath it 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 in Whitcliff Deer Park 375m south east of Comely Farm survives
well and is unencumbered by later structures. Buried deposits in the fill of
the moat and on the island, where there are likely to be the remains of
medieval habitation, will contain archaeological information concerning the
construction and subsequent occupation and use of the moated site, along with
organic material which will provide information about the local environment
and economy of the site. The location of the site within the deer park which
originated during the late 12th or early 13th century, gives the monument
additional interest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, J, A Description of the Hundred of Berkeley, (1639)

Source: Historic England

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