Ancient Monuments

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Moated site, 230m west of St Michael's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Whichford, Warwickshire

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Latitude: 52.0091 / 52°0'32"N

Longitude: -1.55 / 1°33'0"W

OS Eastings: 430980.848366

OS Northings: 234613.172262

OS Grid: SP309346

Mapcode National: GBR 5QN.4XJ

Mapcode Global: VHBYW.2RXP

Entry Name: Moated site, 230m west of St Michael's Church

Scheduled Date: 8 June 1953

Last Amended: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017761

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21621

County: Warwickshire

Civil Parish: Whichford

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Whichford St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Coventry


The monument is situated on the western outskirts of Whichford village and
includes the earthwork and buried remains of a moated site believed to have
been built by Reginald Mohun in the early 13th century. By the mid-14th
century the estate passed to the Stanleys, Earls of Derby, who held it for
approximately 200 years. It was during this latter period that the moated site
is thought to have fallen into disrepair and was abandoned.
The moated site is roughly square in plan with external dimensions of
approximately 100m east-west by 90m north-south and the ground falls away to
the north. The moat ditches are dry, with the exception of part of the west
arm, and some 4.6m wide. Beyond the east side of the moated site the ground
falls away sharply and here an external, retaining bank which has been
reinforced in recent times runs parallel with the moat arm. A break in the
southern moat ditch is considered to be the original means of access to the
moated island. A further causeway to the north gives access to a levelled
platform which projects out of the hillslope and is thought to be an annexe of
the moated site.
There are intermittent traces of an inner bank around the perimeter of the
moated island which itself retains evidence of slight earthworks. An
excavation in the western half of the island in the early 1950s uncovered the
foundations of stone buildings, believed to date from the early 13th century,
and fragments of painted glass, fine quality pottery and stone-lined drains.
The remains of a curtain wall of large ironstone blocks was also located along
the inner edge of the western moat ditch.
All fence posts 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

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 230m west of St Michael's Church survives well and is
unencumbered by modern development. Part excavation and earthwork evidence
have indicated that the structures which originally occupied the moated island
will survive beneath the ground surface, whilst the moat ditches, particularly
the water-filled west arm, will retain both artefactual and environmental
information relating to the occupation of the site and the economy of its

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Chatwin, P B, 'Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeology Society' in Whichford, South Warwickshire, , Vol. 63, (1940), 63-70
Chatwin, P B, 'Transactions of the Birmingham Archaeology Society' in Castles in Warwickshire, , Vol. 67, (1948), 34

Source: Historic England

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