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Moated site 150m north east of Inkberrow Church

A Scheduled Monument in Inkberrow, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.2142 / 52°12'50"N

Longitude: -1.9764 / 1°58'35"W

OS Eastings: 401705.355391

OS Northings: 257325.80237

OS Grid: SP017573

Mapcode National: GBR 2HL.545

Mapcode Global: VHB06.PLHZ

Entry Name: Moated site 150m north east of Inkberrow Church

Scheduled Date: 26 October 1970

Last Amended: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018543

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31941

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Inkberrow

Built-Up Area: Inkberrow

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Inkberrow

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a medieval moated
settlement, with associated water control features, fishponds, and ridge and
furrow cultivation 150m north east of Inkberrow Church. The monument is
located at the bottom of a valley at the foot of a steep, but low, hill upon
which the church stands, at the north east extremity of Inkberrow village.

The island is rectangular, measuring 34m by 27m, and is defined by a
substantial moat which, although silted, still maintains a depth of water. The
moat measures up to 2m deep and 6m wide, with a low external bank following
the whole of its circuit. Traces of an inlet leat from the adjacent stream,
which fed the moat via a fishpond, remain in the north eastern corner although
the moat now relies largely on ground drainage for its water supply. The
island is generally level and undisturbed and no traces of structures are
evident. There is no evidence of formal access to the island.

Adjacent to the north eastern corner of the moat is an irregularly shaped
fishpond of approximately 14m diameter. This pond is fed from the north by the
inlet leat from the stream, which then drained to the south to feed the north
eastern corner of the moat. To the north of this pond, just above the junction
of the stream and the leat, is a further fishpond, slightly larger than the
first. This pond is roughly rectangular and measures approximately 60m by 20m.
A leat from the stream feeds into its eastern side.

A series of drainage ditches to the north and west of the moat serve to
collect surface water from the valley side and define an enclosure at the
north western corner of the moat. The remains of ridge and furrow cultivation,
oriented east to west, are visible to the west and north of the moat, and
running to the western edge of the stream. Fragmentary remains of ridge and
furrow are visible to the east of the stream, however because of their poor
survival they are not included in the scheduling.

All modern post and wire fences 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.

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 150m north east of Inkberrow Church survives as a largely
undisturbed and well-preserved example of a medieval moated settlement
including associated fishponds and remnants of the agricultural regime. The
undisturbed nature of the island will preserve evidence of former structures,
including both domestic and ancillary buildings and their associated
occupation levels. These remains will illustrate the nature of use of the site
and the lifestyle of its inhabitants in addition to evidence which will
facilitate the dating of the construction and subsequent periods of use of the

The moat ditch can be expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence
of its construction and any alterations during its active history. In
addition, the waterlogged condition of the moat will preserve environmental
information about the ecosystem and landscape in which it was set.

Fishponds are artificially created pools of slow moving fresh water
constructed for the purpose of breeding and storing fish in order to provide a
consistent and sustainable supply of food. The tradition of constructing and
using fishponds began in the medieval period and reached a peak of popularity
in the 12th century. Fishponds were often grouped together, either clustered
or in line, and joined by leats; each pond being stocked with a different age
or species of fish, which could be transferred to other bodies of water such
as moats. They were largely the province of the wealthier sectors of society,
and are considered important as a source of information concerning the economy
of various classes of medieval settlements and institutions.

The fishponds immediately north east of Inkberrow moat form an integral part
of the site and represent an important component of the medieval landscape. In
conjunction with the ridge and furrow cultivation they provide an important
complimentary source of information about the economy and subsistence of the
moat's inhabitants. They are expected to preserve evidence of their
construction and use, while their waterlogged deposits will provide climatic
and environmental evidence and information about their management regime.

Ridge and furrow cultivation remains are the remnants of a communal system of
agriculture based on large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields
were subdivided into strips (known as lands) which were allocated to
individual tenants. The cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs pulled
by oxen teams produced long, wide ridges and the resultant `ridge and furrow'
where it survives is the most obvious physical indication of the open field
system. Well-preserved ridge and furrow, especially in its original context
adjacent to settlement earthworks, as at Inkberrow, is both an important
source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive
contribution to the character of the landscape.

There are at least three other moated sites recorded within a 1.5km radius of
Inkberrow, providing information about the relationships between settlements
of this nature in the locality.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1913)
Aston, M, (1967)
Bond, CJ, (1967)
HBMC Schedule, (1987)
Leigh, J., AM107 1969-1994, (1994)
Title: Inkberrow Tithe Award
Source Date: 1840

various SMR Officers, (1967)
various SMR Officers, SMR Records, (1967)

Source: Historic England

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