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Moated site and fishponds 150m north of Attingham Home Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Atcham, Shropshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.6881 / 52°41'17"N

Longitude: -2.6758 / 2°40'32"W

OS Eastings: 354414.79673

OS Northings: 310265.094901

OS Grid: SJ544102

Mapcode National: GBR BM.3PY9

Mapcode Global: WH8BV.VPZK

Entry Name: Moated site and fishponds 150m north of Attingham Home Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 September 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020281

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34906

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Atcham

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Atcham St Eata

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield

Details

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site and two associated fishponds. The moated site is considered to be the
centre of the manor of Berwick Maviston, an estate which had been established
by the time of the Domesday survey. A documentary source indicates that by
1324 the manor house at Berwick Maviston was in ruins. The earliest known
documentary reference to the neighbouring settlement also dates to about this
time. A plan of Berwick Maviston, produced by T F Dukes in 1790, shows a
house, known as `Grant's Mansion', and a series of outbuildings mainly
occupying the south western part of the moated island. This group of buildings
formed the northern part of the hamlet at this time. The plan shows the extant
remains of the southern and eastern moat arms, and seems to suggest that the
northern and western arms had largely been infilled by this date. An
illustation of the mansion published in 1838 indicates that the house, with
its mullioned windows and large chimneys, was mainly a 17th century
construction. The mansion and the majority of the buildings forming part of
the adjacent hamlet were demolished around 1800 in order to include the area
within the enlarged park at Attingham, as proposed by Humphry Repton.
Attingham Park is a Grade II* Registered Park and Garden. The settlement
remains of Berwick Maviston to the south west of the moated site are not
included in the scheduling.
The moated site is situated on a gentle south west facing slope above the
flood plain of the River Severn. The moat, which averages 13m wide, defines a
sub-rectangular island approximately 70m east-west by 90m north-south. The
southern and eastern moat arms retain water, while the western and northern
arms are now visible as shallow depressions having been largely infilled. A 3m
wide entrance causeway crosses the moat at the south eastern corner.
Connected to the western arm of the moat are the remains of a small
rectangular water-filled fishpond, measuring approximately 18m by 28m. A 5m
wide channel, now largely silted up, connects this pond with a larger
sub-rectangular fishpond, also water-filled, to the west. This larger pond
measures about 38m by 65m. During the medieval period these ponds would have
been used for the breeding and storage of fish, in order to provide a
sustainable supply of food. In the post-medieval period they are both likely
to have served as ornamental features in association with Grant's Mansion.
All fence and gate posts, the bird hide and information board on the moated
island, the surface of the track next to the larger pond and the concrete
kerbs around its eastern end, and the utility poles are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features 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 north east of Attingham Home Farm is a well-preserved example
of this type of monument. In addition to the structures which are known to
have occupied the site in the late 18th century, the moated island will retain
buried evidence of earlier buildings. The structural features, together with
the associated artefacts and organic remains, will provide valuable evidence
about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants of the site. The
adjacent fishponds provide additional evidence about the economy and lifestyle
of the inhabitants of the moated site during the medieval period. The
importance of the moated site is enhanced by its association with the hamlet
of Berwick Maviston, providing an insight into the relationships between
different social classes during the medieval and post-medieval periods.
The monument is accessible to the public and is therefore a valuable public
amenity.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Everson, P, Stamper, P A, 'Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society' in Berwick Maviston and Attingham Park, (1987), 64-9

Source: Historic England

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