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Medieval settlement remains and moated site at Stenbury Manor

A Scheduled Monument in Godshill, Isle of Wight

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Latitude: 50.608 / 50°36'28"N

Longitude: -1.2558 / 1°15'20"W

OS Eastings: 452754.004864

OS Northings: 78967.182899

OS Grid: SZ527789

Mapcode National: GBR 9DW.TJV

Mapcode Global: FRA 878G.DKY

Entry Name: Medieval settlement remains and moated site at Stenbury Manor

Scheduled Date: 9 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017369

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30288

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Godshill

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Godshill All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth


The monument includes medieval settlement remains and an adjacent moated
site situated on a north facing slope south and east of Stenbury Manor Farm.

The settlement remains consist of a building platform, trackways, terracing
and a series of water channels and ponds. The building platform is
rectangular, measures 50m by 20m and is edged by wall foundations visible as
low banks. Two further banks projecting inwards from its southern side mark
either internal partitions within a single building, or the gable ends of two
adjacent structures. A series of at least three sunken trackways run
northwards down the hill, the most substantial of which is situated
immediately east of the platform, whilst a terraced area to its north has
traces of medieval agriculture in the form of ridge and furrow cultivation and
possibly represents the location of an orchard. A faint square platform
immediately north of the stream indicates the location of an additional
building, 50m west of which is a low sub-circular embanked area representing
the location of a silted up pond which formed the eastern extent of a series
of water management features linked by channels. The channels fed into a pair
of parallel embanked ponds up to 60m in length, 2m in depth and orientated on
an east to west axis, with the southern pond cut into the hillslope and the
spoil used to construct its northern bank. The northern pond lay at the foot
of the slope and drained into the adjacent moat.

The moated site is situated in the western part of the monument. It includes a
level island enclosed by a dry moat, three arms of which are visible, the
fourth having been infilled. The manor house, which is Listed Grade II, and
the 15th century chapel lie within the moated area. The moat is approximately
9m wide and over 1m deep on the south, west and east sides of the manor house.
The northern arm is no longer visible, having been infilled over the years.
The moat encloses an area approximately 78m wide east-west, but the north-
south dimensions are difficult to discern with accuracy as there is no trace
of the moat on the north side of the house.

Stenbury is mentioned in the Domesday Book. For the purposes of taxation, the
manor of Stenbury was included with Godshill during the medieval period. The
first known possessors of Stenbury were the de Aulas from whom in the 13th
century it passed to De Heyno who built the original manor house of which
nothing now remains. The manor is mentioned regularly until 1505 when it was
quartered, although by 1580 the Worsley family held three quarters. The moat
is thought to have been infilled in 1727. An area of parkland is known to have
existed as early as 1769 and may have included the field in which the
settlement remains are located.

To the west of the manor house are further earthworks, including fishponds,
lynchets and a platform on the edge of the stream, reputed to be the site of a
mill. These earthworks to the west of the moat are not included in the
scheduling as their extent and survival are not well understood at present.

The manor house, chapel, the Listed Grade II pigsties and all fence posts and
feed troughs are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath
them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity
in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains
needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been
divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive
mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided
into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have
gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more.
This monument lies in the East Wessex sub-Province of the south-eastern
Province, an area in which settlement characteristics are shaped by strong
contrasts in terrain. This is seen in the division between the chalk Downs,
where chains of nucleated settlements concentrate in the valleys, and the
Hampshire Basin, still dominated by the woodlands and open commons of the
ancient New Forest, where nucleated sites are largely absent. Along the
coastal strip extending into Sussex are more nucleations, while in Hampshire
some coastal areas and inland valleys are marked by high densities of
dispersed settlement, much of it post-medieval.
The Isle of Wight local region is divided into two parts by a narrow west to
east ridge of downland. The low-lying area to the north is mainly clays, while
to the south clays and sands form the wide vale of the Yar. The settlement
pattern is unusually complex: areas with villages and hamlets intermingle with
zones dominated by scatters of farmsteads and tracts of unsettled downland.

The medieval settlement remains and moated site at Stenbury Manor survive
well. The settlement survives as a series of earthworks which will retain
archaeological remains and environmental evidence containing information about
its dating, layout and economy. Together with contemporary documents relating
to the site, these will provide an opportunity to understand the mechanisms
behind its development, decline and eventual abandonment. The moated site is
one of only a very few known to survive on the Isle of Wight and is adjacent
to a variety of contemporary features such as the settlement, ponds and field

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Sly, T, Stenbury 1998 Geophysical Survey, (1999)
Stone, , The Architectural Antiquities of the Isle of Wight, (1891), 83
Holyoak, V.M., Sketch Plan of SM 30288, (1999)
Motkin, D., SM 30288 looking south west, (1989)
Motkin, D., SM 30288 looking south, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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