Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and cultivation remains 310m north west of Mossley Well Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Whixall, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.913 / 52°54'46"N

Longitude: -2.7459 / 2°44'45"W

OS Eastings: 349936.011744

OS Northings: 335327.334627

OS Grid: SJ499353

Mapcode National: GBR 7H.NKJ3

Mapcode Global: WH89V.S1MM

Entry Name: Moated site and cultivation remains 310m north west of Mossley Well Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019651

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33827

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Whixall

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Whixall St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site and later ridge and furrow cultivation remains 370m north west of Mossley
Well Farm. The moated site is situated on a gradual north west facing slope in
an area of gently undulating land, about 200m south of the the edge of Whixall
The moat is dry except for the south eastern arm. It defines a rectangular
island approximately 25m south west-north east by 30m north west-south east.
It would appear that the island was originally about 30sq m with all the moat
arms between 8m and 12m wide. The north eastern arm appears to have been
widened in modern times. Material excavated from the moat has been used to
raise the surface of the island by up to 0.5m above the level of the
surrounding land.
The field in which the moated site is situated was once in arable cultivation
and the remains of narrow post-medieval cultivation strips, aligned north
west-south east, cross the moated site partially infilling and slightly
altering the profile of the south western and north western moat arms. A 15m
wide sample of this cultivation system to the north west and north east of the
moated site has been included in the scheduling to preserve the relationship
between it and the moated site.
All fence and gate posts and the electricity poles 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.
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 cultivation remains 310m north west of Mossley Well Farm
survive well, despite some later modification. The moated island will retain
buried evidence of the buildings that once stood on the site, which together
with the associated artefacts and organic remains will provide valuable
evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants of the
site. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surface under the raised
interior, and within the moat, will provide information about the changes to
the local environment and the use of the land before and after the moated site
was constructed.
The relationship between the moated site and the cultivation remains
demonstrates the nature of farming in the area after the moated site had
ceased to be occupied.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Leah, M , The Wetlands of Shropshire and Staffordshire, (1998), 16-18

Source: Historic England

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