Ancient Monuments

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Moated site of Frankley Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Frankley, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.4219 / 52°25'18"N

Longitude: -2.0055 / 2°0'19"W

OS Eastings: 399723.915429

OS Northings: 280438.345328

OS Grid: SO997804

Mapcode National: GBR 58Y.1P

Mapcode Global: VH9Z7.6D46

Entry Name: Moated site of Frankley Hall

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017811

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30021

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Frankley

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Frankley

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a rectangular
moated site measuring approximately 120m by 100m and oriented south west to
north east. The moat is sited 130m west of St Leonard's Church at the base of
the east facing slope of Church Hill.

The arms of the moat are water-logged, except to the north east where the moat
arm is only partly water-filled. They are 5m to 10m wide and 3m to 4m deep
being widest at the angles of the moat. The banks of the moat are not raised
above the surrounding ground level. Those on the south east display evidence
of brick revetment of 16th or 17th century construction.

The moat encloses a rectangular island which measures approximately 80m by 60m
and is raised 1m to 2m above the surrounding ground level. The surface of the
island is undulating and contains a number of shallow depressions which
represent the buried building remains of Frankley Hall. To the south west of
the moat is another smaller platform, measuring 60m by 20m, which is integral
to the moated site and which is believed to be the site of the gatehouse. This
platform is surrounded by ditches and contains a large hollowed area.

The moated site was the chief seat of the Littleton family from the 13th
century. By the 17th century, a fine brick mansion stood on the moat island,
which was burned down during the Civil War. A fishpond measuring 140m by 35m
was sited across the road to the north east of the moated site, and was
surveyed in the 1970s. This has since been infilled and levelled and is not
included in the scheduling.

The modern post and wire fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them 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 Frankley Hall is a well-preserved and well-documented
example of a manorial moated site with descriptions of the site ranging from
Leylands comments of the 1530s to an archaeological survey of the 1970s.
There is little evidence of recent disturbance which suggests that important
structural remains will survive within the island, whilst the water-logged
conditions will preserve environmental deposits which will provide information
about land use and the environment around the moated site during its

The association of the moated site with recorded fishponds and with the nearby
church provide evidence of the wider setting and environment of the moated

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Leyland, J, The Itinerary of J Leyland in or about the Years 1535 to 1543, (1907)
Dr Aston, M., Unpublished survey at Frankley Hall, 1960, SMR record from 1960's or 1970's
Various SMR Officers, Unpublished Collection of notes concerning Frankley Hall, SMR record from 1960's to 1990's

Source: Historic England

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