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Moated site and fishponds at Bowercourt Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Rock, Worcestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.3349 / 52°20'5"N

Longitude: -2.3882 / 2°23'17"W

OS Eastings: 373645.958804

OS Northings: 270828.135663

OS Grid: SO736708

Mapcode National: GBR 0BV.P14

Mapcode Global: VH91Y.KKBX

Entry Name: Moated site and fishponds at Bowercourt Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017807

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30016

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Rock

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Rock with Heightington

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a small moated site
and its associated fishponds at Bowercourt Farm. The moated site is located on
a spur of high ground in an upland area, bounded to the west, south and east
by steep valleys with streams and to the north by more gently rising ground.
To the north east of the moated site lie the remains of a series of fishponds
linked by leats.

The moated site measures approximately 80m east to west by 60m north to south.
Two arms of the moat, the northern and eastern arms, survive in good condition
and are water-filled by surface drainage. The moat arms vary from 8m to 10m
wide, being widest across the angles, and are deeply cut, being 2m to 5m deep.
The southern and western arms of the moat have been infilled, although buried
deposits will survive below the later farm buildings and drive. Remnants of
the moat also survive towards the western angle.

A timber framed farm house, of largely 16th and 17th century construction,
occupies the northern portion of the moat island and is excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. The surface of the
island is level with the surrounding ground level.

To the north east of the moat a series of fishponds covering an area of
approximately 100m by 20m, and orientated north to south, form an associated
water management feature. Two ponds survive as sub-rectangular features
arranged along the spring line and separated by substantial earthen banks with
stone revetting. A third pond located to the north of the surviving ponds has
been infilled and is not included in the scheduling.

The timber framed farm house and its associated buildings, all modern foot
bridges, the surfaces of garden paths, patios and driveways and all garden
furniture and fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 and fishponds at Bowercourt Farm are an important survival of
a small moated site. The remains are well preserved and will provide
information about the site and about the nature of moated sites in the area.
In addition the surviving arms of the moat and fishponds have remained
waterlogged and will preserve environmental information relating to the site
and landscape in which it was built; whilst the arms (infilled before the
1800s) can be expected to preserve earlier phases of the moat ditch. The
existence of another moated site nearby, the parish church and the village
within half a mile of Bowercourt moated site, provides an opportunity to
consider the relationships between high status settlement sites and villages
during the medieval period. In addition the unusual upland location of this
moated site will allow an examination of the location of moated sites in
relation to their surrounding topography and settlement patterns.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Page, W, Willis-Bund, J W (editors), The Victoria History of the County of Worcester: Volume IV, (1924), 320

Source: Historic England

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