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Moated site and fishponds 250m south west of Middleton Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Chirbury with Brompton, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.5819 / 52°34'54"N

Longitude: -3.0399 / 3°2'23"W

OS Eastings: 329633.765254

OS Northings: 298739.61227

OS Grid: SO296987

Mapcode National: GBR B4.BJ7X

Mapcode Global: WH8C8.8CNH

Entry Name: Moated site and fishponds 250m south west of Middleton Farm

Scheduled Date: 25 June 1973

Last Amended: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019009

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32323

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Chirbury with Brompton

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Middleton-in-Chirbury

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site and fishponds. The moated site and fishponds occupy an elevated postion
at the base of a south west facing slope.
The moat, which is waterlogged, defines a small square island, approximately
20m across. The arms of the moat are between 12m and 14m wide and are bounded
on all but the north east side by external banks created from material
excavated from the moat. A small-scale archaeological excavation of the island
was conducted in 1975. The remains of stone-built structures of medieval date
were revealed. Artefacts found included roofing slabs and a range of metal
objects, including a coin dated to circa 1430.
Upslope, to the south east of the moated site, are the remains of two small
embanked fishponds, one of which retains a little water. The size and
arrangement of these ponds indicate that they were used for the breeding and
storing of fish. The nearby stream would have been diverted in order to supply
the fishponds and the moat with water, and a short channel, or leat, connected
one of the ponds to the moat.
All modern fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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 and fishponds 250m south west of Middleton Farm survive well
despite some disturbance from agricultural practices and an archaeological
excavation. This limited investigation has helped to demonstrate the nature,
extent and date of structural remains and associated deposits existing on the
moated island.
These remains together with the artefacts and organic remains surviving on the
island and in the moat will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and
social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains surviving in the buried
ground surface under the external banks, and within the moat, will also
provide information about the changes to the local environment and the use of
the land before and after the moated site was constructed.
Fishponds were constructed throughout the medieval period with many dating to
the 12th century. The direct association of the moated site with these ponds
provides further evidence about the economy and lifestyle of the occupants of
the site during the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

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