Ancient Monuments

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Harlescott Grange moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Shrewsbury, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.7395 / 52°44'22"N

Longitude: -2.74 / 2°44'24"W

OS Eastings: 350133.981378

OS Northings: 316019.88556

OS Grid: SJ501160

Mapcode National: GBR BK.0D3T

Mapcode Global: WH8BM.WDDP

Entry Name: Harlescott Grange moated site

Scheduled Date: 31 October 1972

Last Amended: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019297

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33812

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Shrewsbury

Built-Up Area: Shrewsbury

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Harlescott The Holy Spirit

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site, situated on a gentle north east facing slope. It is now surrounded by a
modern housing estate, but from this location there would originally have been
extensive views of the surrounding area. The moat is now visible as a slight
earthwork having been drained in 1950 and largely infilled following the
construction of the housing estate. The arms of the moat, which survive as
buried features, are between 12m and 15m wide and define a rectangular island
approximately 40m by 46m. Material excavated from the moat has been used to
raise the surface of the island between 1.2m and 2m above the level of the
surrounding ground. An account of the site in 1937 indicated that the sides of
the moat were lined with masonry and when the moat was drained, 13th century
pottery was found. Sherds of medieval pottery were also found when a
small-scale archaeological excavation was conducted in 1960.
A number of features are excluded from the scheduling, these are; all fences
and modern walls, all paths and a litter bin; the ground beneath all these
features is, however, 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.

Despite its modification following the construction of the surrounding housing
estate, Harlescott Grange moated site is a good example of this class of
monument. The remains of buildings and associated deposits are expected to
survive as buried features. These remains, together with the artefacts and
organic remains existing 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 raised interior 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.
The monument is a valuable local amenity as it used as a recreation area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society' in Annual Excursion, 1937, , Vol. 49, (1938), vii
Barker, P A, 'Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society' in Harlecott Grange Moated Site, Shrewsbury, , Vol. 56, (1960), 348-49

Source: Historic England

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