Moated site at Peddimore Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Birmingham (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 15402 93740

Reasons for Designation

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.

Ridge and furrow cultivation remains were a communal system of agriculture based on large, unenclosed open arable fields. These large fields were subdivided into strips (known as lands) which were allocated to individual tenants. The cultivation of these strips with heavy ploughs pulled by oxen- teams produced long, wide ridges and the resultant `ridge and furrow' where it survives is the most obvious physical indication of the open field system. Individual strips or lands were laid out in groups known as furlongs defined by terminal headlands at the plough turning-points and lateral grass baulks. Furlongs were in turn grouped into large open fields. Well preserved ridge and furrow, especially in its original context adjacent to settlement earthworks, is both an important source of information about medieval agrarian life and a distinctive contribution to the character of the historic landscape.

Peddimore Hall moated site survives well, and as a concentric double moat is a comparatively rare example of this type of moated site. In addition a wide range of evidence, both archaeological and historical, survives which will provide information about the monument, its development and occupation, and its status in relation to other similar local sites. Evidence will also survive for the moat's landscape setting and the prevailing agricultural and economic regimes focused upon Peddimore from the medieval period until the present day. Whilst much of the monument survives as upstanding earthworks, those areas of the outer moat and pond which have been infilled will be expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence of its construction and any recutting or alterations which occurred during its active history. In addition the inner moat remains water-filled and much of the line of the outer moat survives as a waterlogged ditch. These conditions will preserve environmental deposits containing information about the ecosystem and landscape history of the moat from the medieval period.

Extensive documentary references including mentions of assarting, enclosure and the development of manorial rights and status, provide an important insight into the economic and physical development of a high status domestic site in the period when moat construction was at its height.

There are at least three other moated sites recorded within a 5km radius of Peddimore, providing information about the relationships between settlements of this nature in the locality. This part of the West Midlands appears to have had a large number of moated sites which characterised the high status settlement patterns within the area. Many of the documented sites do not survive as well as that at Peddimore.


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the moated site, fishpond and ridge and furrow cultivation remains at Peddimore Hall. The moated site is a large concentric double moat. It is sub-rectangular in plan and includes the remains of an outer moat with traces of an external bank, an inner moat separated from the outer moat by an substantial earthen dam, and an island upon which stands Peddimore Hall, a Grade II Listed Building.

Peddimore Hall is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. The moated site is aligned north west to south east. To the south west and the north east of the moated site are ridge and furrow cultivation remains on three alignments. At the north east end of the monument lying adjacent to the field boundary are the earthwork remains of a fishpond complex.

Peddimore was a manor by 1281, and lies close to an area of assarts, or land reclaimed and enclosed from waste ground, which was recorded in 1241. In 1288 the owners of Peddimore Hall were allowed to enclose and improve their estate by the Earl of Warwick. The 13th century saw a peak in moat building in England and it is most probable that the origin of the moated site at Peddimore dates from this period. Many of the medieval field boundaries created at Peddimore are recorded in corn maps of the 19th century, and some survive today. In 1361 Peddimore was licenced to establish a chapel, and at some time prior to 1656 the hall was abandoned as Dugdale records that the moated site was empty at that date. The present house and farm buildings are of 17th century origin.

The outer moat measures approximately 130m by 160m and surrounds a sub-rectangular island measuring approximately 70m by 40m. The surface of the island is level with the surrounding ground level, suggesting that there has been no accumulation of soil. The hall is sited on a platform occupying the north western half of the island. Further building remains including worked masonry are believed to survive on the platform to the south east of the hall. The south eastern half of the island has been used as gardens and an orchard in recent times, and remains of earlier phases of buildings and gardens are thought to survive.

The inner moat varies in width from 7m to 15m, being widest at the angles, and it is water-filled on all four sides. The inner moat formerly surrounded the island entirely, until a small section, close to the western angle, was infilled to provide causewayed access to the island. The original access in the form of a brick built foot bridge, also close to the western angle of the moat, survives adjacent to the more recent causeway.

The inner moat is retained by a substantial earthen bank which survives on all four sides except for a small section, close to the western angle of the moat, which was levelled when the access causeway was constructed. The bank is 6m to 8m wide and rises 2m to 3m above the level of the moat. The inner bank separates the two moat ditches. The outer moat survives in part as an isolated pond, 10m to 15m wide, reaching from the western angle towards the northern angle of the moat. For the remainder of its course, the outer moat survives as a narrow waterlogged ditch, measuring 1m to 3m wide. The remains of an outer bank 2m to 4m wide can be seen in places along the south western and south eastern arms of the outer moat.

The moat was supplied by a stream inlet to the northern angle of the outer moat and a further stream may have fed in at the western angle. Sluices connect the inner and outer moats mid way along the south eastern arms and water leaves the complex by a stream which survives in this position.

The ridge and furrow cultivation remains which lie immediately to the north east of the outer moat are aligned north west to south east and consist of curving ridges approximately 3m apart. A headland, a wide bank or ridge, caused by the turning of the plough and used to provide access routes within the field system, survives close to the southern field boundary. Narrower ridge and furrow cultivation remains, on the same alignment, overlie these broad ridges and are thought to represent two periods of arable cultivation in the fields next to the moat. The ridge and furrow respects the line of the north eastern arm of the outer moat. Ridge and furrow cultivation remains near the north eastern edge of the monument are aligned south west to north east, that is at approximately 90 degrees from the alignment of the moated site. Ridge and furrow cultivation remains which lie immediately to the south west of the outer moat are aligned south west to north east, and are of a broad curving nature approximately 7m to 8m apart. Ridge and furrow was also recorded to the south of the moat in the field near the junction of Peddimore Lane and in the field to the north of the moat, both of these areas have been subject to modern arable regimes and no longer preserve any medieval cultivation remains.

A series of low level earthworks survive in the northern part of the monument close to the ridge and furrow cultivation remains. These cover an area approximately 60m by 30m and consist of two shallow curvilinear ditches or ponds and an associated irregular platform to the west of the ponds. The ponds lie close to a stream which has been cut to form a field boundary drainage ditch at the north eastern edge of the monument and are believed to represent a fishpond complex fed by the stream.

Peddimore Hall, the surface of modern paths, the garden walls, and the modern post and wire fences which surround the moat, 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


6" Map, Ordnance Survey, Antiquity Model, (1955)
Antiquarian descriptive source, Dugdale,, (1730)
Bracken, (1860)
BWAS Field Group, Peddimore Hall Farm Buildings, (1996)
Hodder, M., Development, Settlement and Land Use, Sutton ?Cahse, 1988, Unpublished PhD Thesis
Spalton, D., A Survey of Peddimore Hall Moated site, 1977, Undergraduate Dissertation Project


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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