HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Shropshire HER Result
Shropshire HERPrintable version | About Shropshire HER | Visit Shropshire HER online...

HER Number (PRN):00166
Name:Westhope Moat, c400m SSW of Westhope Hall
Type of Record:Monument
Protected Status:Scheduled Monument 1010373: Westhope moat

Monument Type(s):


Scheduled Monument: An isolated and well-preserved medieval moated homestead, perhaps dating from the 13th and 14th centuries when woodland was being cleared, this site has its own fishpond and is locally reputed to have been the site of a fortified building.

Parish:Diddlebury, South Shropshire, Shropshire
Map Sheet:SO48NE
Grid Reference:SO 4665 8591

Related records: None recorded

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events

  • ESA4438 - 1909 Excavation of Westhope Moat, Diddlebury
  • ESA4439 - 1976 field observation by Shropshire County Council
  • ESA4440 - 1980 field observation by Shropshire County Council
  • ESA4441 - 1973 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA4442 - 1983 field observation by English Heritage
  • ESA4443 - 1973 field observation by the Ordnance Survey


Moated site, sited on level ground on the N bank of a stream, the land slopes away to the E. It is a square marshy homestead moat with very wide flat bottomed ditches, a possible causeway or bridge at the NE corner, and an outer retaining bank on the E side. The arms of the moat are 66m in length, 16m in width, and 1.7m deep. The outer bank on the E side is extended southwards beyond the moat and across the stream to its S bank, so as to dam the stream and fill the moat. It has now been breached by the stream and there are two further breaches in the bank at its S end. At the N end of the E arm is a narrow causeway or bridge c 2.5m wide running E/W. It is breached at its E side. This appears to be the original entrance. The S arm of the moat has no outer side to its ditch, this side being bounded by the N bank of the stream. The moat is now dry, but marshy. At its SW corner on the S side of the stream is a fishpond 20m x 10m with a narrow bank inside the pond and a feeder dyke running from the stream t NW corner. There are slight traces of a curving bank and a holloway running NW from the NE corner of the site, purpose not clear. Well reserved ridge and furrow in the field immediately to the SW of the site <6>

The bank, holloway and ridge and furrow noted by MDW [<6>] are visible on the air photos taken on 17th March 1989 [<8>]. A small trench revealed no foundations. Bricks found at side of fishpond [<1a>] <11>

Evaluated for MPP in 1990-1: Medium score as one of 133 Moated sites; Medium score as one of 91 Irregular Open Field Systems; Medium score as one of 52 Fishponds <12>

Scheduling revised in 1992. Westhope moat and fishpond lie to the SW of Westhope village, 400m SSW of Westhope Hall. The moat island is surrounded by a wide flat-bottomed ditch, 2m deep and 10m-12m wide, which is mainly waterlogged. There is an outer bank on the E arm of the moat ditch, with slight traces of a second curving outer bank on the NE corner. The main outer bank on the E arm is 1m high and 3m wide. It extends southwards beyond the moat and across the stream to form a dam which retains water for the moat and fishpond. The south ditch of the moat is bordered by the stream. The moat island is 40m square and has undulations suggesting the presence of buried foundations. On the NE corner of the island a causeway 2.5m wide crosses the ditch. On the SW corner of the moat lie the remains of a rectangular fishpond measuring 20m N-S and 10m E-W. The pond site is waterlogged and connected to the stream by a shallow channel on its NW corner. The moat and fishpond lie at a distance from the village of Westhope and may have been constructed during the 13th and 14th centuries when woodland was systematically cleared for agricultural purposes. In the last century the moat was waterfilled. According to local tradition the moat island is considered to be the site of 'The Castle', a building which was at one time fortified for military use. The monument is essentially undisturbed and archaeological potential is likely to be high <13>

Photographed in aerial survey in 2007 and 2010. <14><15><16>

"Moat Meadow is situated near Westhope Hall, adjoining Watery Lane, and the remains are still to be seen, although the moat is now dry. The ground. 14 feet high from the base of the moat, which is 35 feet across, is 100 yards square. On the north side a piece of ground is connected to the square, and juts out into the moat, thus narrowing it at that corner. This may have been the place for the bridge. Lower down on the same side are the remains of a sluice for letting off the water. Although a trench has been dug across the high ground to the depth of several feet, no trace of any foundations have been found. The local people recollect the Moat having been filled with water. The Moat goes round only three sides of the square: on the fourth side are the "Fish Ponds" and stream. I have been told that constantly, when digging the other side of the "Fish Ponds," bricks have been turned up. The local tradition is that on the high ground was The Castle, which was fortified for troops. It appears most likely that this was the case, and this house would be the old Castle of the estate." <17>

Photographed from the road, April 2019. <18>


[00]SSA20722 - Card index: Shropshire County Council SMR. Site and Monuments Record (SMR) cards. SMR record cards. SMR Card for PRN SA 00166.
[01a]SSA852 - Volume: Anon. 1909. Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological Society. Transactions Shropshire Archaeol Hist Soc. Ser 3, Vol IX (=Vol 32). p149.
[01]SSA853 - Card index: Ordnance Survey. 1978. Ordnance Survey Record Card SO48NE8. Ordnance Survey record cards. SO48NE8.
[02]SSA857 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1989-Mar-17. CPAT 89/C/0080. Colour. 35mm.
[03]SSA856 - Photograph: Watson Michael D. 1981. Westhope Moat - 1 Slide. Colour. 35mm.
[04]SSA860 - Site visit report: Burrow Ian. 1976. Visit Notes, 1976.
[05]SSA854 - Scheduled Monument notification: Department of the Environment (DoE). 1976. Map of Scheduled area, 1976.
[06]SSA859 - Field recording form: Watson Michael D. 1980-Nov-17. Site Visit Form, 17/11/1980. SMR site visit form.
[07]SSA858 - Field Monument Warden Report: Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission (HBMC). 1983. Scheduled Monument Report on SAM 14325.
[08]SSA16206 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1989-Mar-17. CPAT 89/MB/0358 to 0361 and 0365 (5 photos). Black and White. Medium.
[09]SSA16208 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1989-Feb-20. CPAT 89/C/0011. Colour. 35mm.
[10]SSA16207 - Oblique aerial photograph: Musson Chris R. 1990-Apr-04. CPAT 90/C/0046. Colour. 35mm.
[11]SSA20176 - HER comment: Anon. Unattributed SMR Comments in SMR database.
[12]SSA20084 - TEXT: Horton Wendy B. 1990/ 1991. MPP Evaluation File.
[13]SSA855 - Scheduled Monument notification: English Heritage. 1992. Scheduling Papers (Revised Scheduling, 13/07/1992). 13686.
[14]SSA25011 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Sep-7. SA0708_139 (1 photo) Flight: 07_SA_08. Colour. Digital.
[15]SSA25010 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2007-Sep-7. SA0708_138 (1 photo) Flight: 07_SA_08. Colour. Digital.
[16]SSA26061 - Oblique aerial photograph: Shropshire Council. 2010-Mar-8. SA1005_286 (1 photo) Flight: 10_SA_05. Colour. Digital.
[17]SSA30701 - Monograph: Martin Evelyn H. 1909. History of the Manor of Westhope, Co. Salop. p.3.
[18]SSA30751 - Photograph: Carey Giles. 2019-Apr-10. Photographs of Westhope Moat, taken from the road. Colour. Digital.
Date Last Edited:Apr 12 2019 10:56AM