Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Blackgreves Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wythall, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.3773 / 52°22'38"N

Longitude: -1.9046 / 1°54'16"W

OS Eastings: 406587.505402

OS Northings: 275473.593539

OS Grid: SP065754

Mapcode National: GBR 3GW.Z4S

Mapcode Global: VH9ZG.XHYY

Entry Name: Moated site at Blackgreves Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017804

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30013

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Wythall

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Wythall

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a moated site at
Blackgreves Farm. Records refer to Richard I granting the tenement to Reginald
De Barres, and in 1252 Henry III granted the same lands to William de Belne,
whose family retained the property until modern times despite its recorded
ruin following the Black Death.

The sub-rectangular moat makes a complete circuit of the moat island except
for a solid, stone lined causeway across the middle of its southern arm. The
moated site is orientated north to south and measures approximately 80m
square. The island, which measures approximately 40m by 50m, is partly
occupied by an 18th and 19th century farm house which is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. The surface of the
island is generally raised 0.5m above the surrounding ground level.

The moat is water-filled and is quite uniform measuring 12m to 17m across the
top of the banks. There is an inlet providing surface drainage water in the
north western corner of the moat and an outlet in the south western corner.
An external bank rises 1m above the surrounding ground level on all sides.
A large `L'-shaped pond is recorded on the 1840s tithe map, located to the
south west of the south western angle of the moat. The faint traces of this
feature were surveyed in 1986, and the remnants can still be distinguished,
although they are considerably degraded and are not included in the
scheduling. This feature has been interpreted as the corner of either an
earlier moated site or as a second moated site contemporary with the extant
moated site. The offset location of this pond does not support the view that
the moated site once took the form of a double island.

The farm house and all associated buildings, fences and walls, and the
surfaces of modern paths 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.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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 Blackgreves Farm is a well-preserved example of a simple
moat typical of many to be found in the area. The site is well documented
providing an insight into the history of the site's occupation. The water-
filled moat shows little evidence of recent disturbance, and archaeological
and environmental deposits relating to the construction of the monument will
survive here. The locations of five other moated sites are known within a 6km
radius of the monument, and this association will provide the opportunity to
consider the relationships between high status settlement in the region during
the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Worcester: Volume III, (1913), 186
Price, S, 'West Mids Archaeology' in A Survey of Balckgraves Farm Wythall, (1986), 12-14

Source: Historic England

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