Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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The Banquetting Orchard moated site, 650m north west of Bentley village hall

A Scheduled Monument in Bentley Pauncefoot, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.2956 / 52°17'44"N

Longitude: -2.0181 / 2°1'5"W

OS Eastings: 398858.91714

OS Northings: 266382.965783

OS Grid: SO988663

Mapcode National: GBR 2GL.0LY

Mapcode Global: VH9ZS.YKYK

Entry Name: The Banquetting Orchard moated site, 650m north west of Bentley village hall

Scheduled Date: 13 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017805

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30014

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Bentley Pauncefoot

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Tardebigge

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a moated site known
as `The Banquetting Orchard' which is thought to be the original site of the
medieval residence of the Pauncefoot family, whose history is documented from
the 12th century.
The moated site is compact and sub-rectangular in shape with a complete moat.
It is orientated north east-south west and measures approximately 100m by 80m.
The moat is water-filled and uniform, measuring 6m to 10m across the top of
the banks, and appears to be fed by surface drainage. An external bank
survives on the south west side rising 1m above ground level. There is a fine
18th century stone bridge in the middle of the northern arm of the moat which
is included in the scheduling.
The interior of the moat island is raised 1m to 2m above the surrounding
ground level and contains the undulating earthwork remains of former tree
planting. The remnants of a partly infilled fishpond are evident to the north
west of the western arm of the moat, the surviving parts of which are included
in the scheduling.
The modern post and wire fences and gates which surround the moat are excluded
from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is

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 Banquetting Orchard moated site represents a well-preserved example of a
large moat typical of many to be found in the area. The site is well
documented and this will provide an insight into its history and use.
The water-filled moat shows little evidence of recent disturbance and
archaeological and environmental deposits relating to the construction and
occupation of the site will survive.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Worcester: Volume III, (1913), 224
Bond C J, Bentley Pauncefoot Moated site at the Thrift., 1969, unpublished survey notes in SMR

Source: Historic England

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