Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 450m west of Parkhall Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Hanbury, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.2543 / 52°15'15"N

Longitude: -2.0406 / 2°2'26"W

OS Eastings: 397326.957568

OS Northings: 261793.317251

OS Grid: SO973617

Mapcode National: GBR 2GY.LXV

Mapcode Global: VH9ZZ.LL3Q

Entry Name: Moated site 450m west of Parkhall Farm

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018580

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31948

County: Worcestershire

Civil Parish: Hanbury

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Hanbury

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site 450m
west of Parkhall Farm, Hanbury.
The moat island, which is rectangular and level with the surrounding ground,
measures 65m by 28m, and is defined by a moat which, although no longer
water-filled, is waterlogged in places. Traces of brick building remains
noted on the moat island in 1988 are no longer visible. The moat measures up
to 1m deep and 6m wide, and was originally fed in the south west corner by a
leat from the stream which now runs through the centre of the island.
A second leat running along the north side of the moat supplied additional
water management features to the west including a pond. This pond is degraded
and is not included in the scheduling, although the leat running along the
north of the moat is included. Excess water is believed to have been carried
from the moat at the point where the present stream exits the moat on its
western side.
The moat is believed to be a medieval manorial moat, and was in 1136, when it
was exempted from the foundation grant of Bordesley Abbey, the `land of the
parker'. This description indicates that, although manorial in nature, it
would have fulfilled a role in the management of the Royal Forest of
Feckenham. The site may thus have included weapon and equipment stores
associated with hunting, facilities for stock management, and perhaps a
holding cell for those accused of contravening the laws of the forest, prior
to their committal to trial. Parkhall Manor continued as the property of the
hereditary keepers of the Royal Forest of Feckenham until the office of Head
Parker was removed from the manor in the 13th century by Edward I and given to
Queen Eleanor to be granted at the queen's will. The office of head parker
was an often hereditary honorary position and was indicative of high status
and royal connections.
In 1377 the estate was granted to Bordesley Abbey, in whose possession it
remained until the Dissolution in 1538. The Hanbury tithe award of 1838
records its subsequent use as being garden and moat.
The modern bridge and surface to the east of the moat 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 west 450m west of Parkhall Farm survives as a largely
undisturbed and well-preserved medieval manorial moat. 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 moat.
The moat ditch will be expected to preserve earlier deposits including
evidence of its construction and any alterations during its active history. In
addition, the generally waterlogged condition of the moat will preserve
environmental information about the ecosystem and landscape in which it was
The site is of particular importance due to its association with the park
keepers of the medieval Royal Forest of Feckenham, and it is expected to
preserve evidence for structures and use in connection with the management of
the Forest, including evidence for its economic and social regime.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Mawer, , Stenton, , Place Names of Worcestershire, (1937), 323
Moger, O, Wragge, A, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1913), 376-7
Bond, C.J., Provisional List of Moats in Worcestershire, (1972)
Butt, Mr. Bond, C.J., SMR Records, (1970)
Title: Hanbury Tithe Award
Source Date: 1838

Source: Historic England

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