Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Kent's Moat

A Scheduled Monument in Stechford and Yardley North, Birmingham

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Latitude: 52.4741 / 52°28'26"N

Longitude: -1.7896 / 1°47'22"W

OS Eastings: 414385.434452

OS Northings: 286259.062558

OS Grid: SP143862

Mapcode National: GBR 6SB.TZ

Mapcode Global: VH9Z4.X2RP

Entry Name: Kent's Moat

Scheduled Date: 19 August 1954

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020538

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35112

County: Birmingham

Electoral Ward/Division: Stechford and Yardley North

Built-Up Area: Birmingham

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Garretts Green

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the medieval moated
site known as Kent's Moat, lying adjacent to Sheldon Heath Road. The moat
belonged to the Sheldon family who constructed a house here in the early
13th century and rebuilt it during the 14th century. The house was
abandoned in the 15th century, when it passed into the possession of the
Earl of Kent.
The moated site is orientated south west to north east and measures
approximately 98m by 85m externally. Although dry, the moat survives as a
partially infilled ditch defining a sub-rectangular island. The silted arms
are visible on all four sides and measure approximately 11.5m across and up
to 2m deep. An original entrance is preserved as a causeway across the north
eastern arm of the moat.
The island measures approximately 80m by 60m and is level with the surrounding
ground level. A number of low rise flats arranged in three blocks are sited
on the island. Partial excavation in 1959 and 1964 in advance of the
housing development revealed substantial building remains surviving upon the
island, including timber buildings, floor tiles, and roofing materials, as
well as domestic artefacts.
The low rise flats arranged in three blocks and all fences, modern roads,
and surfaces 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.

Kent's Moat survives well as an earthwork feature, despite later
development. Although dry, those areas of the moat which have been
partially silted are expected to preserve earlier deposits including
evidence of its construction and any re-cutting or alterations which
occurred during its active history. The site also preserves buried
building remains and artefacts which will illuminate the history and use
of the moat, including evidence about its occupants and their daily
activities. Household remains will provide dating evidence as well an
insight into the range of social contacts of the inhabitants of the moat
throughout its history.

Source: Historic England


excavation records in SMR, Excavations at Kents moat 1959, (1959)
records, text plans, SMR officer, Various texts regarding Kent's Moat,

Source: Historic England

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