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HER Number (PRN):00905
Name:Moated site c 350m NW of The Hospital, NE of Whitchurch
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:None recorded

Monument Types

  • HOSPITAL? (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)
  • MOATED SITE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1540 AD)

Summary

Moated site of medieval date, possibly once the site of a medieval hospital.

Parish:Whitchurch Urban, North Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SJ54SW
Grid Reference:SJ 5416 4203

Related records

19495Related to: Game larder apx 3 meters to SW of The Old Rectory, CLAYPIT STREET (Building)
19517Related to: Ice House apx 15m to SW of The Tithe Barn, LONDON ROAD (Building)
00110Related to: Medieval Hospital, Whitchurch (Monument)
12593Related to: Outbuilding approximately 10m to E of The Tithe Barn, London Road, Whitchurch (Building)
19496Related to: The Coach House and adjoining walls, CLAYPIT STREET (Building)
12592Related to: The Old Rectory, Claypit Street, Whitchurch (Building)
07616Related to: Whitchurch Rectory Garden (Monument)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA875 - 1976 field observation by the Ordnance Survey
  • ESA876 - 1977 field observation by Shropshire County Council
  • ESA877 - 1981 field observation by Shropshire County Council
  • ESA6818 - 2003 WB of land at London Road, Whitchurch by SCCAS
  • ESA6652 - 2010 landscape assessment of land at London Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire by Northamptonshire Archaeology
  • ESA6650 - 2010 DBA and site visit of land off London Road, Whitchurch by Phoenix Consulting Archaeology
  • ESA7544 - 2015 DBA of land adjacent to Bollandsfield, Whitchurch, Shropshire by Nexus Heritage

Description

A hospital was founded either here or at Oswestry (both called Album Monasterium) temp Henry III, benefactor John le Strange. <1a-b>

It is however, most probable that there is a confusion over the name, and that the hospital at Oswestry is that referred to. <2>

Moated site situated on a gentle spur running NW/SE and which spans the width of the spur. This large rectangular moat is in poor condition. The surrounding moat ditch is much mutilated. The SE arm has been almost completely destroyed except for an outward facing scarp at the E half. The NE arm is best preserved being up to c18m wide and c2m deep. The NW arm has most of its outer scarp levelled except at the W end where it survives for c20m At this W end of the NW arm there is a very small outer bank c1m wide and 0.5m high stretching for a length of 5m. The inner scarp of the NW arm survives complete and to a height of c2m. It was reported that a revetment wall to the island was found at the W end of the NW arm, which included some medieval mouldings. The SW arm is c10m wide and varying from c1m deep at the N end to c2m at the S end which is waterlogged and has been partially destroyed. The moat island which is level measures c70m square . It has no traces of any buildings earlier than the now derelict C19 Rectory, (PRN 12592) though the owner did report brick foundations usually being found during ground disturbance. Two large earth embanked air-raid shelters are sited on the NW edge of the island. M Watson FI 1981. <6>

It seems highly probable that the moated site represents the site of the Lestrange family's Whitchurch manor house in the C14. On 14 July 1322 Fulk Lestrange obtained a licence to crenellate his dwelling house at Whitchurch. This grant may imply that the Lestranges gave up the castle (PRN 00904) as their main Whitchurch dwelling, moving instead to a town edge site where a manor complex was erected surrounded by an impressive rectangular moat. The field to the north of the site, occupying the site of the later park (PRN 07616), contains numerous well preserved earthworks which may relate to the setting of the Lestranges house, in particular an area of low ground which may at one stage have been water filled. About 1600 the site passed into the ownership of Sir Thomas Egerton, the Lord Chancellor. By 1612 the former moated manor had become the Rectory house, the manor and rectory apparently descending together throughout the medieval and post medieval periods. In 1749 the rector obtained a faculty to demolish the existing rectory and replace it with a new one. Before demolition the old complex was planned and the rectory house drawn. The replacement Rectory, (PRN 12592), lay on the east side of the moated area, clear of the site of the old building. The whole of the moat interior west of the new house was given over to a pleasure garden. In 1941 the house was used a Post Office Reserve Wireless Station. Two large, embanked air raid shelters on the north west edge of the island and an ancillary structure close to the north-west corner of the moat are of Second World War date. No longer extant are the arrays of aerials erected in the fields to the north and east of the house. <9>

To the southwest of the moated site and Rectory, a site inspection of a development at the former cheese factory identified no archaeological features or deposits. 0.3m depth of topsoil and a further 0.5m depth of subsoil had been removed to reveal the natural reddish brown sound. <10>

A desk-based assessment was carried out on land at London Road, Whitchurch, as part of baseline assessment for a planning application. A site visit was undertaken on 21st May 2010, and a portion of the western arm of the moat was recorded as lying within the site boundary. This large rectangular moat is recorded as in poor condition. The surrounding moat ditch is much mutilated. The SE arm has been almost completely destroyed except for an outward facing scarp at the eastern half. The NE arm is best preserved being up to c18m wide and c2m deep. The NW arm has most of its outer scarp levelled except at the W end where it survives for c20m. At this W end of the NW arm there is a very small outer bank c1m wide and 0.5m high stretching for a length of 5m. The inner scarp of the NW arm survives complete and to a height of c2m. It was reported that a revetment wall to the island was found at the W end of the NW arm, which included some medieval mouldings. The SW arm is c10m wide and varying from c1m deep at the N end to c2m at the S end which is waterlogged and has been partially destroyed. The moat island which is level measures c70m square . It has no traces of any buildings earlier than the now derelict C19 Rectory, (PRN 12592) though the owner did report brick foundations usually being found during ground disturbance. Two large earth embanked air-raid shelters are sited on the NW edge of the island. Photographed. <11>

The origins of the moated site are obscure. It was once thought that a hospital dependant on Haughmond Abbey was founded here for the poor, aged and infirm in the 13th century however, it is thought that there is some confusion and the hospital was actually founded at Oswestry. The HER suggests that the moated site was the manorial complex for the Lestrange family in the 14th century, after they gave up the castle in the town centre (see <9>). This is based on a licence Fulk Lestrange obtained to crenellate his dwelling house in 1322. However, this licence may refer to the manor house at Blakemere, just over a mile to the north-east. It is possible, therefore, that the site was occupied by rectors of Whitchurch from at least the late 13th century, at the time of the first recorded parson. <12>

It has been suggested that this moated site was a manor house belonging to the le Strange family, although by the late 13th century the Le Strange family were resident elsewhere. The moated site is thought to have earlier origins associated with a monastic hospital, although this attribution is not secure. <13>


<00> Shropshire County Council SMR, Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards, SMR Card for PRN SA 00905 (Card index). SSA20722.


<01a> Dugdale W, Monasticon Anglicanum, Vol 7, p773 (Monograph). SSA3272.


<01b> Tanner, 1787, Notitia Monastica, Salop, xxix (Monograph). SSA3273.


<01> Ordnance Survey, 1976, Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ54SW9 (Card index). SSA3274.


<02> Baugh G C & Cox D, 1977, Comment, 26/01/1977 (VERBAL COMMUNICATION). SSA3275.


<03> Clay R M, 1909, Medieval Hospitals of England, p317 (Monograph). SSA1778.


<04> Knowles D & Hadcock N, 1953, Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales, p403 (Monograph). SSA359.


<05> Burrow Ian, 1977-Feb-25, Visit Notes, 25/02/1977 (Site visit report). SSA3278.


<06> Watson Michael D, 1981-Jan-13, Site Visit Form, 13/01/1981 (Field recording form). SSA3277.


<07> Anon, 1977, Moat, Whitchurch (Photograph). SSA3276.


<08> Various, 1988, Correspondence, 1988 (Correspondence). SSA3270.


<09> Stamper Paul A, 1996, The Old Rectory, Whitchurch: A Brief Site History (Deskbased survey report). SSA3271.


<10> Hannaford Hugh R, 2003, Land at London Road, Whichurch 2003 (Watching brief report). SSA24230.


<11> Turner C & Richmond A, 2010, Archaeological desk-based assessment: land off London Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire (Deskbased survey report). SSA23945.


<12> Walker C & Holmes M, 2010, An historic landscape assessment of land at London Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire, p.6 (Field survey report). SSA23947.


<13> Wait G A, 2015, Land adjacent to Bollandsfield, Whitchurch, Shropshire: heritage statement, p.23 (Deskbased survey report). SSA28131.

Sources

[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 00905.
[01a]SSA3272 - Monograph: Dugdale W. Monasticon Anglicanum. Vol 7, p773.
[01b]SSA3273 - Monograph: Tanner. 1787. Notitia Monastica, Salop. xxix.
[01]SSA3274 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1976. Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ54SW9. Ordnance Survey record cards. SJ54SW9.
[02]SSA3275 - VERBAL COMMUNICATION: Baugh G C & Cox D. 1977. Comment, 26/01/1977.
[03]SSA1778 - Monograph: Clay R M. 1909. Medieval Hospitals of England. p317.
[04]SSA359 - Monograph: Knowles D & Hadcock N. 1953. Medieval Religious Houses of England and Wales. p403.
[05]SSA3278 - Site visit report: Burrow Ian. 1977-Feb-25. Visit Notes, 25/02/1977.
[06]SSA3277 - Field recording form: Watson Michael D. 1981-Jan-13. Site Visit Form, 13/01/1981. SMR site visit form.
[07]SSA3276 - Photograph: Anon. 1977. Moat, Whitchurch. Colour.
[08]SSA3270 - Correspondence: Various. 1988. Correspondence, 1988.
[09]SSA3271 - Deskbased survey report: Stamper Paul A. 1996. The Old Rectory, Whitchurch: A Brief Site History. SCCAS Rep. 94.
[10]SSA24230 - Watching brief report: Hannaford Hugh R. 2003. Land at London Road, Whichurch 2003. SCCAS Rep. LRW03.
[11]SSA23945 - Deskbased survey report: Turner C & Richmond A. 2010. Archaeological desk-based assessment: land off London Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire. Phoenix Arch Rep. PC353a.
[12]SSA23947 - Field survey report: Walker C & Holmes M. 2010. An historic landscape assessment of land at London Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire. Northamptonshire Archaeol Rep. 10/152. p.6.
[13]SSA28131 - Deskbased survey report: Wait G A. 2015. Land adjacent to Bollandsfield, Whitchurch, Shropshire: heritage statement. Nexus Heritage Rep. 3246.R01b. p.23.
Date Last Edited:Jan 29 2016 2:30PM