Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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The Bower moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Greete, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.3467 / 52°20'47"N

Longitude: -2.6547 / 2°39'16"W

OS Eastings: 355499.406885

OS Northings: 272266.48896

OS Grid: SO554722

Mapcode National: GBR BN.T94V

Mapcode Global: VH84B.X8YW

Entry Name: The Bower moated site

Scheduled Date: 18 September 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020146

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33847

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Greete

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Greete

Church of England Diocese: Hereford


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site located in an area of undulating land and occupying an elevated position,
with the ground falling away in all directions. The moat defines a polygonal
subcircular island, between 50m and 60m across. The arms of the moat are
between 8m and 12m wide. The eastern and northern arms are dry and
steep-sided, and are up to 3.3m deep, while much of the southern arm retains
water. A later drainage channel extends from the south western corner of the
moat and is not included in the scheduling. The western arm has been infilled,
but survives as a buried feature. This part of the moat is shown as having
been infilled on the earliest large scale Ordnance Survey map, published in
1885. Material excavated during the construction of the moat has been used to
raise the surface of the north western part of the island by about 1.8m above
the level of the surrounding land. This part of the island is occupied by The
Bower, a farmhouse of mainly 18th century date which incorporates an earlier
timber-framed building. The original means of access onto the island was via a
causeway, about 7m wide, which crosses the northern part of the eastern arm.
The farmhouse and outbuildings, all paths, driveway and yard surfaces, a shed
and the concrete base of a former pig sty, all modern walls and fences, all
ornamental garden features, a cast iron water pump and an electricity pole are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features
is 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.

The Bower moated site is a well-preserved example of this type of monument.
Subcircular moated sites are relatively uncommon nationally and such sites are
thought to date to the early medieval period. Moated sites occupying elevated
positions are also unusual and it would appear that for these sites defence
was a key element in their construction.
The moated island will retain buried evidence of the structures 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 beneath the raised interior 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.

Source: Historic England


Title: County Series map
Source Date: 1885
Sheet IV.13

Source: Historic England

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