Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 60m north of Benville Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Corscombe, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8317 / 50°49'54"N

Longitude: -2.6627 / 2°39'45"W

OS Eastings: 353425.35218

OS Northings: 103786.082691

OS Grid: ST534037

Mapcode National: GBR MM.WZ3D

Mapcode Global: FRA 569W.Y76

Entry Name: Moated site 60m north of Benville Manor

Scheduled Date: 25 May 1960

Last Amended: 25 November 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016896

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31073

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Corscombe

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Corscombe St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a rectangular moat 60m north of Benville Manor, a house
which is largely 17th century in date but probably earlier in origin. It is
one of a pair of moats in the hamlet of Benville, about 650m apart.
The moat has a ditch, up to 4m wide and 1.5m deep, enclosing a level island
24m by 18m. It is generally water-filled on the north, west and east sides,
where it has been cleaned out and modified. A stone and brick revetment has
been added along the northern side and there is a sluice gate controlling the
water level in the north eastern corner. There is an outer bank on the
northern and eastern sides, 7m wide and up to 1m high, possibly relating to
this period of modification and episodes of cleaning. The southern ditch
is partially infilled with material deriving from the adjacent garden to the
south, but represents a survival of the original form. There is a stone-lined
inlet at the south west corner.
All fence and gate posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features 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 60m north of Benville Manor will contain archaeological and
environmental remains providing information about medieval society, economy
and landscape.

Source: Historic England

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