Ancient Monuments

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Tilehouse Green moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Dorridge and Hockley Heath, Solihull

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Latitude: 52.3902 / 52°23'24"N

Longitude: -1.7564 / 1°45'23"W

OS Eastings: 416671.195094

OS Northings: 276931.866068

OS Grid: SP166769

Mapcode National: GBR 4JF.0RR

Mapcode Global: VH9ZK.H6S1

Entry Name: Tilehouse Green moated site

Scheduled Date: 14 April 1977

Last Amended: 10 June 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017525

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30002

County: Solihull

Electoral Ward/Division: Dorridge and Hockley Heath

Built-Up Area: Solihull

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Dorridge and Bentley Heath

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a rectangular moated
site approximately 90m by 50m which is oriented north west by south east. The
arms of the moat, which are water-filled, are 7m to 10m wide, being widest at
the angles of the moat.

The moat encloses a rectangular island which measures approximately 50m by 30m
and is level with the surrounding ground level. The surface of the island is
level with a shallow depression towards its centre. The moat is now fed by a
stream in the southern angle which has been utilised as a surface storm drain
for the surrounding housing development and has been reinforced in concrete.
Water is drained from the moat in the northern angle where modern concrete
drainage systems have also been introduced.

There is evidence of a depression or hollow way 2m east of the western angle
of the moated island. This hollow way gave access to a ford which survives on
both banks of the northern arm of the moat; this corresponds with the site of
the causeway constructed in the 18th century which was found during limited
excavations. An indentation in the outer bank of the eastern angle of the moat
may indicate the original site of the moat feeder which corresponds with the
lowest level of the shallow valley in which the moat lies.

The monument forms one of a group of six moats which lay in the territory of
the Manor of Longdon, although little is known of its history. The first
record of the monument appears to be a reference of 1591 to `le tilehouse,
Tilehouse Grene'. Recent limited excavations in advance of the insertion of
modern storm drainage systems found traces of occupation of the site prior to
the construction of the moat and determined that the moat was occupied during
the 13th and 14th centuries. In the post-medieval period the site appears to
have been deserted, although it may have been associated with the tile
manufactory referred to in 1591 and with the large clay pit located nearby at
the junction of Browns Lane and Tilehouse Green Lane.

The modern post and wire fences and wooden footbridges and all garden
furniture and the modern concrete surface fittings for the storm drainage
inlet and outlet 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 at Tilehouse Green is a well preserved example of a
single-phase, single-island rectangular moat, typical of a small farmstead
site in an area of dispersed settlement. The association of this site with
five other moated sites in the vicinity, all of which appear to form part of
one manorial grouping, will give an insight into manorial practices in the
region. The moat has remained water-filled throughout its history and limited
excavation has shown that organic remains survive well within the buried
deposits. Evidence of reuse of the island for industrial purposes in the
post-medieval period will provide valuable information about small scale
industrial processes in the early industrial period in this area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pemberton, R, Solihull and its Church, (1905), 18-22
Salzman, LF (ed), The Victoria History of the County of Warwickshire: Volume IV, (1947), 221-1
Andrews, D, 'Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire AA.' in The Moated Site At Tilehouse Green, Solihull., , Vol. 92, (1984), 149 153

Source: Historic England

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