Ancient Monuments

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Sillenhurst moated site and fishpond

A Scheduled Monument in Woore, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.9812 / 52°58'52"N

Longitude: -2.411 / 2°24'39"W

OS Eastings: 372503.975278

OS Northings: 342733.544311

OS Grid: SJ725427

Mapcode National: GBR 7Y.J8VG

Mapcode Global: WH9BR.YB3C

Entry Name: Sillenhurst moated site and fishpond

Scheduled Date: 27 September 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017005

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32304

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Woore

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Woore St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site and associated fishpond, situated in an area of undulating land. The
moated site occupies a prominent position with extensive views to the north.
The rectangular moated island, which has maximum dimensions of 50m north-south
by 54m east-west, was originally surrounded by a moat on its western, southern
and eastern sides, and was bounded by a fishpond on its northern side. The
remains of a brick-built structure was found on the island at the end of the
19th century. There are now no visible traces of any buildings, although
fragments of brick and tile can be seen embedded in the sides of the moat. The
southern moat arm still retains water. It is 12m wide and 1.5m deep, and is
bounded on the southern (outer side) by a bank 9m wide and 0.4m high. Much of
the eastern arm has been infilled with modern building rubble, but survives as
a buried feature. A causeway to the island separated the northern part of this
ditch from the adjacent fishpond. The western arm ranges in depth from 1.5m to
2.5m and is between 13m and 19m wide.
The fishpond, which has been drained, is triangular in shape (about 35m
north-south by 150m east-west) and would have been used for breeding and
storing fish to provide a sustainable supply of food. It was created by
digging into the sloping ground and dumping the spoil to the north in order to
form a dam, 15m wide and 1m high. The dam sits at the top of a steep north
east facing slope. It is about 95m long, but drainage works during the 20th
century have substantially reduced its height at the eastern end. The steep
scarp which defines the southern side of the fishpond also defines the
northern side of the moated island, and is between 1.5m and 2m in height. The
western side of the pond is defined by a scarp 0.8m high.
Water to supply the moat and the fishpond came from the higher ground to the
south through a channel, or leat, that joined the moat at its south western
corner. This channel has been recut and forms part of the modern drainage
system, and is not therefore included in the scheduling. The modern drainage
channel cuts through the base of western arm of the moat and connnects with
drains in the eastern part of the pond.
The electricity poles are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them 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.

Sillenhurst moated site and the adjoining fishpond survive well despite some
modification to the water management system. The moated island will retain
structural and artefactual evidence of the buildings that once stood on the
site, which together with the artefacts and organic remains surviving in the
moat will provide valuable information about the occupation and social status
of the inhabitants. Organic remains surviving in the moat will also provide
information about the changes to the local environment and use of the land.
The association of the moated site and the fishpond is important in providing
further evidence about the economy and lifestyle of the occupants during the
medieval period. The size of this pond would suggest that its principal use
was for storing fish before being transported to local markets.

Source: Historic England

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