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Moated site and fishpond at Hunt End, 120m south east of Chapel House Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Astwood Bank and Feckenham, Worcestershire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.2717 / 52°16'18"N

Longitude: -1.9572 / 1°57'26"W

OS Eastings: 403013.658106

OS Northings: 263725.067244

OS Grid: SP030637

Mapcode National: GBR 3J5.HZJ

Mapcode Global: VHB01.154C

Entry Name: Moated site and fishpond at Hunt End, 120m south east of Chapel House Farm

Scheduled Date: 26 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017809

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30018

County: Worcestershire

Electoral Ward/Division: Astwood Bank and Feckenham

Built-Up Area: Redditch

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Astwood Bank St Matthias and St George

Church of England Diocese: Worcester

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a sub-rectangular
moated site and fishpond 120m south east of Chapel House Farm, Hunt End. It is
located just below the base of a slope at the head of a broad, low lying
valley which contains a series of streams and ponds, and within the
jurisdiction of the medieval Royal Forest of Feckenham.
The moated site measures approximately 130m east to west by 200m north to
south. The northern, eastern, and southern arms of the moat survive in good
condition, two of which are water-filled. The arms vary from 5m to 10m wide
and are 0.5m to 2.5m deep. The western arm survives as a partly infilled dry
linear earthwork 180m long, 2m to 4m wide and 0.5m to 1m deep.
The remains of an inner bank, 2m wide and 0.75m high, survive around parts of
the north, south and east sides of the moat. The northern arm of the moat has
been partly reinstated. An external earthen bank, up to 1.5m high and 2m to 4m
wide survives on the west, south and east sides of the moat.
The surface of the island is level with the surrounding ground, and in the
northern part contains evidence of medieval ridge and furrow cultivation
remains and earthworks which are believed to be the remains of former
buildings. At the centre of the island is a building of brick and stone, which
is Listed Grade II and is largely of 17th century construction, although parts
are thought to be earlier. It was formerly a chapel of Bordesley Abbey and is
now a domestic dwelling, known as The Moat House. It is excluded from the
scheduling although the ground beneath it is included.
To the east of the moat there are the remains of a large sub-rectangular
fishpond measuring approximately 320m by 100m and orientated north to south,
and retained on the south side by a substantial earthen dam 120m long by 10m
wide and 4m to 6m high. The retaining dam is included in the area. The north
and east sides of the pond were created by the natural rise of the land at the
head of the valley. The pond provided fish for the inhabitants of the moated
site and is separated from the moat by an additional external bank on the east
side of the moat. Streams run along both the eastern arm of the moat and
through the middle of the bed of the fishpond.
Part of a stone-roofed conduit or sluice survives in the bank between the moat
and the fishpond on the eastern side of the moated site approximately half
way down the length of the bank, 120m south west of the north eastern angle of
the moat. This consists of an earthen ditch measuring approximately 0.5m deep
and 1m wide, roofed with a rubble-built stone arch of pre-industrial date.
This feature can be traced for approximately 2m of its course. The survival of
this conduit confirms that features associated with water management systems,
at the moated site and fishpond, survive below ground.
To the north of the moat is a large levelled platform and causeway thought to
have been the location of buildings associated with the moated site.
Moat House and its associated buildings, all modern surfaces 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 fishpond 120m south east of Chapel House Farm is an
important survival of a large complex 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 that have remained waterlogged will preserve environmental
information relating to the site and landscape in which it was built; whilst
the arm partly infilled before the 1800s can be expected to preserve earlier
phases of the moat ditch. The existence of the associated fishpond, several
building platforms and cultivation remains at the monument provides an
opportunity to consider the relationships between high status settlement sites
and the surrounding topography. At Hunt End there is a substantial survival of
the surrounding earlier landscape including cultivation remains and
boundaries.
The survival of two other moated sites each within 1.5km of Hunt End will
provide the opportunity to consider the relationships between high status
settlement in the region during the medieval period, and particularly to
examine the arrangement of manorial complexes within the Royal Forest of
Feckenham.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Aston, M., Sites and Monuments Record Card unpublished survey, 1970, survey and notes 1970's.
SMR Officers, Sites and Monuments Record Card unpublished notes, Descriptions since 1960's.

Source: Historic England

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