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Moated site and fishpond 170m and 160m south east of Chidleys Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Enville, Staffordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.4705 / 52°28'13"N

Longitude: -2.2985 / 2°17'54"W

OS Eastings: 379816.43745

OS Northings: 285876.847574

OS Grid: SO798858

Mapcode National: GBR 09F.1PD

Mapcode Global: VH91F.35QH

Entry Name: Moated site and fishpond 170m and 160m south east of Chidleys Farm

Scheduled Date: 7 March 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019832

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33842

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Enville

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Alveley

Church of England Diocese: Hereford

Details

The monument includes the earthwork, upstanding structural and buried remains
of a medieval moated site and an associated fishpond, which lie within two
separate areas of protection.

The moated site is situated on a gentle south west facing slope at the base of
an escarpment. The moat, which is waterlogged, is fed by a spring at its north
eastern corner. The arms of the moat are between 7m and 9m wide, and define a
square island approximately 21m across. The internal faces of the moat were
revetted with stone and served as the base for a sandstone block curtain wall
around the island, the bottom course of which is still partly visible.

Material excavated from the moat has been used to raise the south western part
of the island by about 1.5m above the level of the surrounding land in order
to create a level building platform. Spoil from this operation has also been
used to form an external bank, about 6m wide, alongside the south western moat
arm. Its northern end has been cut by a modern drainage ditch.

Fifty metres to the south west of the moated site, and within the second area
of protection, is a rectangular fishpond, which retains water. It is aligned
north west to south east and is approximately 55m long and 10m wide. It was
created by digging into the south west facing slope, and the material
excavated was deposited along its south west side to form a dam, which is
about 7m wide and stands to a height of 1.2m. The northern end of the dam has
been breached providing an outlet for the water. A modern drainage ditch feeds
water from the moat to the pond. It is not included in the scheduling.

All fence posts 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 170m south east of Chidleys Farm is a well-preserved example
of this type of monument and is one of the smallest known moated sites in
Shropshire. The moated island retains upstanding and buried evidence of the
structures that once stood on the site. These structures, 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 surfaces beneath the raised interior
and under the external bank, and deposited 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 and were used for the breeding and storing of fish in order
to provide a sustainable supply of food. The associated fishpond provides
additional evidence about the economy and life style of the inhabitants of the
moated site during the medieval period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
'Stour & Smestow Archaeological Research Group. Research Paper 1' in Brierley Moat, Alveley, (1970)
'Stour & Smestow Archaeological Research Group. Research Paper 1' in Brierley Moat, Alveley, (1970), 3

Source: Historic England

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