Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Bishopstone Court

A Scheduled Monument in Bishopstone, Herefordshire,

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Latitude: 52.0915 / 52°5'29"N

Longitude: -2.8534 / 2°51'12"W

OS Eastings: 341628.176047

OS Northings: 244027.064017

OS Grid: SO416440

Mapcode National: GBR FD.BGT7

Mapcode Global: VH77Y.HPCJ

Entry Name: Moated site at Bishopstone Court

Scheduled Date: 24 November 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019822

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31959

County: Herefordshire,

Civil Parish: Bishopstone

Traditional County: Herefordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Herefordshire

Church of England Parish: Bishopstone

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site at
Bishopstone Court located on level ground, 120m north of the Church of St
Lawrence and approximately 1.5km east of Offa's Dyke.

The moat island is rectangular, measuring some 40m by 30m, and is defined by a
substantial water-filled moat. Bishopstone Court, a 16th century building with
18th century alterations, stands upon the island. It is a Listed Building
Grade II and excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is

The moat is filled via a modern stone leat in a short projection off its south
eastern corner and drained via a modern sluice situated midway along the
northern arm. The modern leat and sluice are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them is included. The moat measures approximately
10m wide by up to 3m deep on the west, south, and east arms while the northern
arm has been widened to approximately 15m. The outer face of the moat is
mostly earthen, whilst the island is entirely dry stone revetted.

Situated midway along the eastern arm are the remains of a late 16th century
gateway consisting of two pillars flanking the eastern entrance to the island.
Access is gained via a stone bridge which is associated with the gateway. The
stone bridge, drystone retaining wall and gateway remains are Listed Grade II
and are included in the scheduling. There is secondary access via a two arched
brick bridge with a stone central pier, situated midway along the western arm.

Bishopstone Court, the bridge on the western arm of the moat, and all modern
fencing and surfaces 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 at Bishopstone Court survives as a well preserved example of
its class of monument. The moat island will be expected to 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
providing evidence which will facilitate dating of the construction and
subsequent periods of use of the moat. The moat will also be expected to
preserve earlier deposits including evidence for its construction and any
alterations during its active history.

The 16th century gateway illustrates the status and architectural
sophistication of the moat's later inhabitants.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Moger, O, The Victoria History of the County of Worcestershire, (1908), 349
Turner, J H, Herefords County Treasures, (1981), 41
DRB, Ordnance Survey Record Cards, (1969)
RCHM, Herefordshire, RCHM, RCHM, Herefordshire, (1934)
RCHM, RCHM, (1934)
Record Cards, (1970)
Record Cards, (1980)

Source: Historic England

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