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Moated site at Exhall Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Heath, Warwickshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4649 / 52°27'53"N

Longitude: -1.495 / 1°29'41"W

OS Eastings: 434406.190684

OS Northings: 285336.256482

OS Grid: SP344853

Mapcode National: GBR 6LG.DVN

Mapcode Global: VHBWS.19JR

Entry Name: Moated site at Exhall Hall

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019141

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30050

County: Warwickshire

Electoral Ward/Division: Heath

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Warwickshire

Church of England Parish: Exhall St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Coventry

Details

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site at
Exhall Hall located in the valley bottom to the west of the River Sowe, and
450m north east of the parish church.

The moat is compact, sub-rectangular and survives well as a water-filled
ditch on all four sides. It is lined with puddled clay. The moat is
orientated north to south and measures approximately 60m by 80m. Its arms are
of uniform width measuring approximately 10m to 15m wide, except in the
south western angle which measures up to 20m. The southern arm of the moat was
formerly wider than its present width having been partially infilled after
1880. The moat is supplied by a sluice from the River Sowe running into its
north east angle and is drained through a sluice returning to the river from
the south east angle. The original access to the moat was by a red sandstone
bridge across the western arm of the moat. The bridge is a Listed Building
Grade II and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it
is included.

The moat island is raised 1m above surrounding ground levels. Exhall Hall, a
Grade II Listed Building which is a timber frame and brick house dating in
parts from the 16th century stands on the island. The hall, and its ancillary
domestic buildings are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features is included.

The moated site is thought to be the original site of the medieval manor house
and the remains of earlier buildings, including buried floor levels are
believed to survive in the present gardens. Some of the farm buildings stood
outside the moated enclosure to the south west. This area, now a modern
housing development, is not included in the scheduling.

Exhall Hall, the sandstone bridge and all modern surfaces and fences are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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 at Exhall Hall survives well including earthworks and buried
building remains of a variety of features. Whilst the majority of the
monument survives as upstanding earthworks, providing information on the
size and form of the moated site, those areas of the moat which have been
partially infilled will be expected to preserve earlier deposits including
evidence of its construction and any re-cutting or alterations which occurred
during its active history.

In addition the moat remains waterlogged and will be expected to preserve
environmental deposits providing information about the ecosystem and
agricultural regimes surrounding the moated site from the medieval period.
The buried remains of buildings are believed to survive upon the island,
including parts of the earlier manor house and its associated agricultural and
ancillary buildings. These will preserve evidence about the dates and methods
of construction, occupation and demolition of the manor.

Artefactual evidence will illuminate the social history of the site, while
household remains will provide a range of dating evidence as well as insights
into the social contacts of the inhabitants of the manor and their daily
activities.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Various SMR Officers, Unpublished notes in SMR files,

Source: Historic England

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