Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 300m east of Stourton Methodist Chapel

A Scheduled Monument in Stourton, Warwickshire

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Latitude: 52.0304 / 52°1'49"N

Longitude: -1.5664 / 1°33'58"W

OS Eastings: 429845.209468

OS Northings: 236980.967937

OS Grid: SP298369

Mapcode National: GBR 5Q8.LTQ

Mapcode Global: VHBYV.S7S9

Entry Name: Moated site 300m east of Stourton Methodist Chapel

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016898

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30040

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Stourton

Built-Up Area: Cherington

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Sutton-under-Brailes St Thomas a Becket

Church of England Diocese: Coventry


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site and
fishponds at Sutton under Brailes. The moat lies in the valley bottom
immediately south of the River Stour and 400m to the south and downslope of
the parish church.

The moat is compact, sub-rectangular and complete in its circuit, although it
has become partially infilled over time. It is orientated east to west and
measures approximately 180m by 90m overall. The arms of the moat are quite
uniform measuring 6m to 10m across the top of the banks, except on the eastern
side which measures up to 20m across. The moat appears to have been fed by a
leat from the River Stour which enters in the north eastern angle. An outlet
returns the flow to the river from the north western angle of the moat. The
moat remains waterlogged, and the area is subject to periodic flooding. The
interior of the moat island is raised 1m to 2m above surrounding ground levels
with low, irregular earthworks, thought to be building remains, in the central
third of the island. These are believed to represent the site of the main
dwelling. Earthworks of a former fishpond survive in the south western corner
visible as a small and irregular hollow orientated east to west and measuring
approximately 20m by 25m and 1m to 2m deep. A leat connects the pond to the
south west angle of the moat. The earthworks of further building remains
survive in the north western and eastern portions of the island.

A bank or lip, rising 0.75m high by up to 2m wide, survives along the inner
edge of the moat in the eastern third of the island, defining an area believed
to be the site of the garden or court yard attached to the house. The interior
of the island is dished and then rises to a small platform measuring 10m by
15m in the centre of the area. This is believed to mark the site of a building
such as a dovecot or barn in the centre of the yard.

To the exterior of the eastern arm of the moat are the remnants of an
extensive levelled platform, orientated north to south and measuring
approximately 60m by 25m. This is believed to represent the site of other
agricultural and ancillary buildings associated with the manor. To the
exterior of the south eastern angle of the moat in the area between the River
Stour and the parish boundary are earthworks believed to represent a large
shallow fishpond. The fishpond is bounded on the west and south by banks and
rising ground, on the east by the river and on the north by the platform
adjacent to the moat. The fishpond is sub-rectangular and measures
approximately 120m by 90m orientated north to south. There are the faint
remains of a bank under 0.5m high at its northern end which may have retained
the waters, separating them from the platform and moat.

The modern post and wire fences which surround the moat 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.

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 300m east of Stourton Methodist Chapel survives well as
upstanding earthworks and buried remains, providing information upon the size
and form of the moated site. Those areas of the moat and ponds which have been
partially infilled will be expected to preserve information including evidence
of the moat's construction and any alterations which occurred during its
active history. The moat remains waterlogged and environmental deposits
providing information about the ecosystem and agricultural regimes during the
medieval period will be preserved. The survival of the associated fishpond
complex and water management features will provide evidence of the wider
setting of the moat.

The buried remains of buildings which survive on the island will provide
evidence about the dates and methods of construction, occupation and
demolition of the manor. They will also preserve artefactual information
illustrating the social history of the site, including evidence about its
occupants and their daily activities. Household remains will, in addition,
provide a range of dating evidence as well as insights into the range of
spheres of influence, social contacts and trading mechanisms of the
inhabitants of the site throughout its history.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mackenzie, I , 'Moated Sites Research Group' in The Moated sites of Warwickshire, (1986), 14

Source: Historic England

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