Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Astwood Court

A Scheduled Monument in Astwood Bank and Feckenham, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.2588 / 52°15'31"N

Longitude: -1.9559 / 1°57'21"W

OS Eastings: 403105.399189

OS Northings: 262296.945597

OS Grid: SP031622

Mapcode National: GBR 3JC.BBS

Mapcode Global: VHB01.1HV7

Entry Name: Moated site at Astwood Court

Scheduled Date: 21 September 1978

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020711

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30019

County: Worcestershire

Electoral Ward/Division: Astwood Bank and Feckenham

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Astwood Bank St Matthias and St George

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a small
five-sided moated site located in a broad, low-lying, undulating valley,
which lay within the jurisdiction of the medieval Royal Forest of
Feckenham. The moated site measures approximately 125m east-west by 90m
north-south, its island approximately 90m east-west by 60m north-south.
The arms of the moat survive in good condition and are water-filled. They
vary from 5m to 10m wide, being widest across the angles, and are 2m to 5m
deep. The moat is spring fed from the north east and a culverted outlet
passes under the road from the western angle of the moat.

A timber framed farmhouse, which is Listed Grade II and of largely 16th
to 17th century construction, with a possible 15th century hall at its
core, occupies the western portion of the moat island and is excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. The surface of
the island is level with the surrounding ground, although the remains of
an inner lip survive around the south eastern angle.

The timber framed farmhouse and its associated buildings, all modern foot
bridges, the surfaces of garden paths, patios and driveways and all garden
furniture and fences 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.
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 Astwood Court is a well-preserved example of a simple
moat typical of many to be found in the area. The survival of a water-
filled moat with limited recent disturbance will provide archaeological
and environmental information. The survival of two other moated sites each
within 1.5km of Astwood Court will provide the opportunity to consider the
relationships between high status settlements in the region during the
medieval period, and particularly to examine the arrangement of manorial
complexes within the Royal Forest of Feckenham.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Worcester: Volume III, (1913)

Source: Historic England

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