Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Pickard's Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Upper Arley, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.4308 / 52°25'50"N

Longitude: -2.3498 / 2°20'59"W

OS Eastings: 376310.068038

OS Northings: 281481.687966

OS Grid: SO763814

Mapcode National: GBR 09R.LPY

Mapcode Global: VH91L.752D

Entry Name: Moated site at Pickard's Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017803

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30012

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Upper Arley

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Kidderminster Ismere

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the moated site and
associated enclosures at Pickard's Farm. Records first refer to a tenement at
Pickard's Farm in a land grant of the 13th century. An assize of AD 1276
confirms that the holding was granted to Hugh de Picard. Records continue to
refer to a messuage and other holdings throughout the 16th century.

The remains include a small sub-rectangular moated site approximately 100m
by 60m, orientated north west to south east. The southern arm of the moat
remains water-filled whilst the eastern and northern arms are waterlogged. The
moat was filled from a spring which survives at its eastern angle.

The western arm of the moat has been partly infilled at a later date to
provide access to the farm which formerly stood on the island. The remains of
the last farmhouse to occupy the moat island was demolished in 1997, and will
survive in the form of demolition layers and floor levels, below which can be
seen the stone rubble foundations of an earlier building. The moat island also
includes areas of uneven earthworks which are believed to be former farm
buildings along the southern edge of the moat island.

To the east of the moated site are three enclosures or platforms delineated by
the moat ditch and other waterlogged ditches, these vary in size from 10m by
17m to 30m by 22m. The platforms have undulating surfaces which indicate the
presence of earlier building platforms.

To the north of the moated site is a raised area of medieval ridge and furrow
cultivation remains, divided into enclosures by further ditches or hollow
ways. A 20m wide portion of the ridge and furrow cultivation remains is
included in the scheduling in order to preserve the relationship between the
moated site and its field system. A further platform surrounded by hollow ways
or ditches lies to the north west of the moated site, adjacent to the area of
ridge and furrow, although it does not contain any signs of cultivation
remains. A 20m sample of this platform has also been included in the

All modern fences and the surfaces of modern tracks 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 Pickard's Farm is a well-preserved example of a simple moat
typical of many to be found in the area. Its survival within an associated
field system, with little evidence of recent disturbance, enhances its
importance. In addition, the survival of building platforms would suggest that
the remains of buildings and dwellings associated with the medieval moated
site will also survive. These will provide information about the range of
buildings associated with moated sites and may include the dwellings of those
who worked for the estate which will also provide an insight into the wider
social and economic sphere of moated sites.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1913), 7

Source: Historic England

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