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Moated site at Peddimore Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham

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Latitude: 52.5413 / 52°32'28"N

Longitude: -1.7742 / 1°46'27"W

OS Eastings: 415409.26578

OS Northings: 293739.97283

OS Grid: SP154937

Mapcode National: GBR 3WK.PW

Mapcode Global: VH9YS.6DD5

Entry Name: Moated site at Peddimore Hall

Scheduled Date: 15 December 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017648

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30031

County: Birmingham

Civil Parish: Sutton Coldfield

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Curdworth, Middleton and Wishaw

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the moated site,
fishpond and ridge and furrow cultivation remains at Peddimore Hall. The
moated site is a large concentric double moat. It is sub-rectangular in plan
and includes the remains of an outer moat with traces of an external bank, an
inner moat separated from the outer moat by an substantial earthen dam, and an
island upon which stands Peddimore Hall, a Grade II Listed Building.

Peddimore Hall is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it
is included. The moated site is aligned north west to south east. To the south
west and the north east of the moated site are ridge and furrow cultivation
remains on three alignments. At the north east end of the monument lying
adjacent to the field boundary are the earthwork remains of a fishpond

Peddimore was a manor by 1281, and lies close to an area of assarts, or land
reclaimed and enclosed from waste ground, which was recorded in 1241. In 1288
the owners of Peddimore Hall were allowed to enclose and improve their estate
by the Earl of Warwick. The 13th century saw a peak in moat building in
England and it is most probable that the origin of the moated site at
Peddimore dates from this period. Many of the medieval field boundaries
created at Peddimore are recorded in corn maps of the 19th century, and some
survive today. In 1361 Peddimore was licenced to establish a chapel, and at
some time prior to 1656 the hall was abandoned as Dugdale records that the
moated site was empty at that date. The present house and farm buildings
are of 17th century origin.

The outer moat measures approximately 130m by 160m and surrounds a
sub-rectangular island measuring approximately 70m by 40m. The surface of the
island is level with the surrounding ground level, suggesting that there has
been no accumulation of soil. The hall is sited on a platform occupying the
north western half of the island. Further building remains including worked
masonry are believed to survive on the platform to the south east of the hall.
The south eastern half of the island has been used as gardens and an orchard
in recent times, and remains of earlier phases of buildings and gardens are
thought to survive.

The inner moat varies in width from 7m to 15m, being widest at the angles, and
it is water-filled on all four sides. The inner moat formerly surrounded the
island entirely, until a small section, close to the western angle, was
infilled to provide causewayed access to the island. The original access in
the form of a brick built foot bridge, also close to the western angle of the
moat, survives adjacent to the more recent causeway.

The inner moat is retained by a substantial earthen bank which survives on
all four sides except for a small section, close to the western angle of the
moat, which was levelled when the access causeway was constructed. The bank is
6m to 8m wide and rises 2m to 3m above the level of the moat. The inner bank
separates the two moat ditches. The outer moat survives in part as an
isolated pond, 10m to 15m wide, reaching from the western angle towards the
northern angle of the moat. For the remainder of its course, the outer moat
survives as a narrow waterlogged ditch, measuring 1m to 3m wide. The remains
of an outer bank 2m to 4m wide can be seen in places along the south western
and south eastern arms of the outer moat.

The moat was supplied by a stream inlet to the northern angle of the outer
moat and a further stream may have fed in at the western angle. Sluices
connect the inner and outer moats mid way along the south eastern arms and
water leaves the complex by a stream which survives in this position.

The ridge and furrow cultivation remains which lie immediately to the north
east of the outer moat are aligned north west to south east and consist of
curving ridges approximately 3m apart. A headland, a wide bank or ridge,
caused by the turning of the plough and used to provide access routes within
the field system, survives close to the southern field boundary. Narrower
ridge and furrow cultivation remains, on the same alignment, overlie these
broad ridges and are thought to represent two periods of arable cultivation in
the fields next to the moat. The ridge and furrow respects the line of the
north eastern arm of the outer moat. Ridge and furrow cultivation remains
near the north eastern edge of the monument are aligned south west to north
east, that is at approximately 90 degrees from the alignment of the moated
site. Ridge and furrow cultivation remains which lie immediately to the
south west of the outer moat are aligned south west to north east, and are of
a broad curving nature approximately 7m to 8m apart. Ridge and furrow was
also recorded to the south of the moat in the field near the junction of
Peddimore Lane and in the field to the north of the moat, both of these areas
have been subject to modern arable regimes and no longer preserve any medieval
cultivation remains.

A series of low level earthworks survive in the northern part of the monument
close to the ridge and furrow cultivation remains. These cover an area
approximately 60m by 30m and consist of two shallow curvilinear ditches or
ponds and an associated irregular platform to the west of the ponds. The
ponds lie close to a stream which has been cut to form a field boundary
drainage ditch at the north eastern edge of the monument and are believed to
represent a fishpond complex fed by the stream.

Peddimore Hall, the surface of modern paths, the garden walls, and the modern
post and wire fences which surround the moat, are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath all 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.

Ridge and furrow cultivation remains were a communal system of agriculture
based on large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were
subdivided into strips (known as lands) which were allocated to individual
tenants. The cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs pulled by oxen-
teams produced long, wide ridges and the resultant `ridge and furrow' where it
survives is the most obvious physical indication of the open field system.
Individual strips or lands were laid out in groups known as furlongs defined
by terminal headlands at the plough turning-points and lateral grass baulks.
Furlongs were in turn grouped into large open fields. Well preserved ridge and
furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to settlement earthworks,
is both an important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a
distinctive contribution to the character of the historic landscape.

Peddimore Hall moated site survives well, and as a concentric double moat is a
comparatively rare example of this type of moated site. In addition a wide
range of evidence, both archaeological and historical, survives which will
provide information about the monument, its development and occupation, and
its status in relation to other similar local sites. Evidence will also
survive for the moat's landscape setting and the prevailing agricultural and
economic regimes focused upon Peddimore from the medieval period until the
present day. Whilst much of the monument survives as upstanding earthworks,
those areas of the outer moat and pond which have been infilled will be
expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence of its construction
and any recutting or alterations which occurred during its active history. In
addition the inner moat remains water-filled and much of the line of the outer
moat survives as a waterlogged ditch. These conditions will preserve
environmental deposits containing information about the ecosystem and
landscape history of the moat from the medieval period.

Extensive documentary references including mentions of assarting, enclosure
and the development of manorial rights and status, provide an important
insight into the economic and physical development of a high status domestic
site in the period when moat construction was at its height.

There are at least three other moated sites recorded within a 5km radius of
Peddimore, providing information about the relationships between settlements
of this nature in the locality. This part of the West Midlands appears to
have had a large number of moated sites which characterised the high status
settlement patterns within the area. Many of the documented sites do not
survive as well as that at Peddimore.

Source: Historic England


6" Map, Ordnance Survey, Antiquity Model, (1955)
Antiquarian descriptive source, Dugdale,, (1730)
Bracken, (1860)
BWAS Field Group, Peddimore Hall Farm Buildings, (1996)
Hodder, M., Development, Settlement and Land Use, Sutton ?Cahse, 1988, Unpublished PhD Thesis
Spalton, D., A Survey of Peddimore Hall Moated site, 1977, Undergraduate Dissertation Project

Source: Historic England

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