Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Moat Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Dormston, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.2137 / 52°12'49"N

Longitude: -2.0248 / 2°1'29"W

OS Eastings: 398404.63202

OS Northings: 257276.977826

OS Grid: SO984572

Mapcode National: GBR 2HJ.4XG

Mapcode Global: VHB05.VMGB

Entry Name: Moated site at Moat Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 June 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017242

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30054

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Dormston

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Dormston

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated medieval
farmstead complex at Moat Farm, Dormston. The moat lies in the centre of a
linear village, to the north of the main Worcester to Alcester Road, in a
gentle valley with rising ground on all sides.

The moated site is orientated south west to north east and measures
approximately 65m by 50m externally. The moat is compact, defining a
sub-rectangular island and survives as an earthwork ditch on three sides. The
moat was partially infilled during the 18th century, surviving as an earthwork
until the moat arms on the north east, north west and south west were
partly re-excavated in the 1980s. It remains water-filled. The interior of
the moat arm can be clearly seen on the infilled south western side, although
the exterior line has since been obscured by infilling and the creation of a
later track. This arm will, however, be preserved as a buried feature. The
arms measure between 5m and 15m across, the north western arm being widest.
The moat is filled by ground water drainage which feeds into the moat through
an inlet in the northern angle. An original causeway is preserved across the
north eastern arm of the moat, and an early single span brick lined bridge
gives access across the narrowest part of the moat to the south east.

The interior of the moat island is steeply raised 1m to 2m above surrounding
ground level. Moat Farm House, a Listed Grade II* 16th century timber framed
building, lies on the island of the moat and is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath it is included. To the south west of the moat a
Listed Grade II* timber framed dovecote of 17th century date is also excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is again included.

Documentary sources indicate that five manses at Dormston were confirmed to St
Marys of Pershore by a charter of King Edgar in the 10th century and later
formed a manor of the Abbey of Westminster, being farmed by tenants throughout
the medieval period. It is believed that the farmstead at Dormston formed part
of this estate.

Moat Farm House, the timber framed dovecote and all modern paved surfaces 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.

The upstanding earthworks of the moated site at Moat Farm will provide
information upon the size and form of the moated site. Those areas of the moat
which have been partially infilled are expected to preserve earlier deposits
including evidence of its construction and any re-cutting or alterations which
occurred during its active history. The partial re-excavation of the arms
lying on the north west, north east and south eastern sides has removed only
the most modern material, and will not have damaged the earlier deposits.
In addition the moat has remained waterlogged throughout its history and these
wet conditions will have preserved environmental deposits providing
information about the ecosystem and agricultural regimes around the moated
site from the medieval period. The site will also preserve artefacts which
will illuminate the social history of the site, including evidence about its
occupants and their daily activities. Household remains will provide dating
evidence as well as insights into the range of social contacts of the
inhabitants of the moat throughout its history.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Salzman, L, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1969), 133
various SMR Officers, Various unpublished notes, SMR file

Source: Historic England

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