Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Moat House

A Scheduled Monument in Hampton in Arden, Solihull

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Latitude: 52.4247 / 52°25'29"N

Longitude: -1.704 / 1°42'14"W

OS Eastings: 420223.671272

OS Northings: 280789.626291

OS Grid: SP202807

Mapcode National: GBR 4HX.VCC

Mapcode Global: VHBWV.FB01

Entry Name: Moated site at Moat House

Scheduled Date: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017243

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30055

County: Solihull

Civil Parish: Hampton in Arden

Built-Up Area: Hampton in Arden

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Hampton-in-Arden

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham


The monument includes the known extent of the buried, earthwork and standing
remains of the partially moated and walled manorial complex at Moat House. The
site is located in a landscape which was formerly part of the Forest of Arden,
lying just below the crown of a hill overlooking the flood plain of the River
Blythe, adjacent to the parish church, on the main Solihull Road.

On the north and east sides are the remains of a moat, whilst a large
buttressed ashlar wall defines the south side and parts of the eastern and
western sides. The local topography prevented the site ever being fully
moated and the large wall to the south is believed to have been constructed
as a counter-part to the moat where the land sloped too steeply to countenance
a moat.

The site is sub-rectangular with all of the moat island and most of the moat
and wall circuit surviving. It is orientated north to south and measures
approximately 140m by 90m overall. The arms of the moat measure up to 15m wide
and 3m deep on the north side, being shallower at the less complete east arm.
There are traces of both an internal and external bank on the lip of the moat
which will have added to its effectiveness both as a boundary and in terms of
its visual impact. The moat is generally dry, but remains waterlogged in
places, and is expected to preserve organic remains. The wall measures up to
3m high and is up to 1m wide at the base. It is constructed from monolithic
ashlar blocks of imported sandstone. A gate in the eastern wall, 5m from the
terminus of the eastern arm of the moat, leads directly from the site of the
medieval manor house to the west entrance of the church; it is believed that
this marks an original causeway between the two sites.

The moat island is level with the prevailing ground levels. Geophysical
survey was carried out on the moat island in the 1990s. This indicated that,
despite previous landscaping in the area, there is still considerable
archaeological survival of buried features of the medieval period; in
particular a large buried building, believed to be the medieval manor house,
was located beneath the gardens to the east of the present buildings.
Moat House, a Grade II* Listed Building, is sited on the island. It is a
timber framed house of the 16th and 17th century believed to incorporate
masonry reused from the medieval manor. The house is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

Although few earlier records survive, detailed records exist from the 17th
century relating to the present house which is believed to represent an
upgrading of the residence replacing the medieval manor house sited to the
east, thus providing a more fashionable residence. The estate belonged to the
Peel family and in the 19th century was owned by Sir Robert Peel. Sir Robert's
son later built the Gothic mansion to the north west, and this became the
primary residence, whilst the house on the moated site continued in use as a

Moat House and all made up 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.

Partially moated and walled sites are relatively rare, and that at Moat House
will provide information about the fashions, status and purpose attached
to the moat at the time of its construction when moats were particularly
favoured as high status sites in the forest lands of Warwickshire. In
addition the walled southern side, constructed from massive blocks of imported
red sandstone, which overlooks the road and the flood plain of the River
Blythe may have acted to provide a semi-fortified appearance to the manor.
Whilst the majority of the monument survives as earthworks providing
information on the size and form of the moated site, those areas of the moat
which have been partly infilled will be expected to preserve earlier
deposits including evidence of its construction and any re-cutting or
alterations which occurred during its active history. In addition the moat
remains waterlogged in parts and will preserve environmental deposits
providing information about the ecosystem and agricultural regimes around the
moated site.

Geophysical survey has confirmed that the buried remains of buildings survive
upon the island, these will provide evidence for their dates and methods of
construction, occupation and demolition. Artefactual evidence will also
illuminate the social history of the site, providing understanding of its
occupants and their daily activities, as well as providing dating evidence.
The arrangement of the agricultural and domestic ancillary buildings in
relation to the residential quarters, will help illustrate the day to day
functioning of the manor.

Source: Historic England


Various SMR officers, Various notes in SMR Office, SMR West Midlands 3101

Source: Historic England

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