HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Worcestershire and Worcester City HER Result
Worcestershire and Worcester City HERPrintable version | About Worcestershire and Worcester City HER

If you have any queries regarding this record please contact us at HERecord@Worcestershire.gov.uk for County records (WSM) and archaeology@worcester.gov.uk for City records (WCM)

Name:Site of Bishops Palace, Alvechurch
HER Reference:WSM01829
Type of record:Monument
Grid Reference:SP 031 726
Map Sheet:SP07SW
Parish:Alvechurch, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

Monument Types

  • MOAT (12TH CENTURY AD to 21ST CENTURY AD - 1150 AD to 2050 AD)
  • EVENT (14TH CENTURY AD - 1301 AD to 1400 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Historic Environment Flood Risk Assessment (NHPP)

Full description

Double Moat (figure 8), water filled in perfect condition except for filled in north-east sector. Attached fishponds.[1]

Double moat, building in north-east corner of northern portion by causeway. Both halves labelled 'orchard'.[2]

East side called 'orchard and moat' north-west side called 'moat pleck and water court barn yard'. Building in north area (and walls). Part of moat appears to be infilled in north-east.[3]

Plans of water course system.[4]

Earthworks to north examined. Palace has documentary history dating back to 1230 and records of manor go back to Offa. As result of excavation a moated enclosure covering c 1 acre surrounded by what appears to be a precinct wall. About one third of plan on long building recovered. Walls had average width 4' of solid stone, but timber also employed in view of stone bases. Two periods of construction detected and two entrances at leach end of long rectangle, with road leading to South one. A 15th century purse mount beneath fallen tiles of the first period building and frags of encaustic tiles. At some time in 16th century reused and fresh floor levels put down clear that this is part of outbuildings.[5]

'All made of Tymbre and seemeth to be noe piece of aulde worke. It was lately in Decay and Bishop Latimer repaired it'.[7]

The existing record for Alvechurch bishop's palace is confused. The moated site is WSM01829: the record also includes the area to the north-east which is also recorded as WSM01933 (the area of Oswald's excavations 1951-2). A small part of the moat was excavated. Gold finger ring, 14th century, with triangular olivine, found in garden of Moat House at bishop's palace.[10]

Fieldwork (1994) showed the moated site is landscaped as private gardens [11]

Palace first recorded 1236 when Bishop William de Blois died there. Park around it mentioned from reign of Henry II (1154-89). Demolished by c. 1780 and park split into several farms by beginning of 19th century. Double moat surrounding site of former bishop's palace, perched on side of valley with steep slopes to south-west and south-east. The leat feeds the moat from the north-east. Moat has two overflows for excess water. To south-west and south-east: most of overflow via leat to north-west (WSM17191). Some sort of moated site probably not constructed until 12th century.[8]

Structure recorded within Bishop's Palace moat. Interpreted as either a hearth or a floor. Digging a flower bed in the garden of the house within the medieval moat revealed a structure consisting of 6-7 rows of closely set red tiles, many broken, set on edge at an angle of about 20 degrees from vertical. Traces of stone walling were found nearby and a number of medieval patterned tiles were discovered. [9]

Formerly SAM Hereford and Worcester 195. A five year management agreement was concluded in 2000. [12][13]

See also.[14]

See transcriptions of 18th and 19th century maps.[15][16]

Plan of Moat.[17]

Reconstruction of ponds and watercourses.[18]

Plan of fishponds, pond and mill sites associated Bishop's Palace.[19]

Description of fishponds and water system.[20]

Description of earthworks at the Bishop's Palace, Alvechurch.[21]

Reconstruction drawings of moat and Bishop's Palace.[22][23]

This feature is visible on the 1st, 5th and modern OS maps, aerial photographs and LiDAR imagery. The area is under tree cover and the site is now a residential dwelling, therefore, there could be some potential for surviving environmental deposits.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32]

Moat included in description of the park at the Bishop's Palace. It is suggested that double moats, where there is no trace of buildings, could have contained a garden within the moated precinct.[33] [36]

See also [34][35].

Sources and further reading

<1>Graphic material: Aston, M. 1967. Bishop of Worc's Palace. SMR file.
<2>Map: Fish J. 1701. Survey of Alvechurch Park.
<3>Map: Guyatt, David. 2005. Transcription of Alvechurch Tithe Map of 1840. Worcestershire Record Office. BA1572 s760/7.
<4>Graphic material: Aston M. 1967. Alvechurch Water System. SMR file.
<5>Bibliographic reference: Oswald A. 1952. Worcestershire Excavation at Alvechurch. Worcestershire Archaeology Newsletter.
<6>Bibliographic reference: Page, W. 1913. A History of the County of Worcester: Volume III. Victoria County History. III. vol III, 253.
<7>Bibliographic reference: Leland, J. 1964. Leland's Itinerary in England and Wales, Vol. 2, Parts IV-V.
<8>Bibliographic reference: Aston, M A. 1972. Earthworks at the Bishops Palace .... TWAS. 3rd series, 3.
<9>Article in serial: Bond, J. 1970. Alvechurch, Bishops Palace, Worcs. West Midlands Archaeological News Sheet. 13. p51.
<10*>Bibliographic reference: Oswald, A. 1956. Excavation at Alvechurch, Worcestershire. Birmingham Archaeological Society's Transactions. 72.
<11>Personal Comment: Dalwood Hal. 1993. Site Visit 1993. HWCC - SMR.
<12*>Correspondence: English Heritage. 2000. Letter from N Moule to V Buteux 31st May 2000 ref AA/91937/4.
<13*>Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1998. Schedule for Bishop's Palace. English Heritage.
<14>Aerial Photograph: Various. 1998. Aerial photographs. WHEAS. AS1813.
<15*>Map: Aston, M.. Unknown. James Fish Survey of Alvechurch Park 1701. Mick Aston Archive.
<16*>Map: Aston, M. . Unknown. Part transcription of Alvechurch 1842 Tithe map. Mick Aston Archive.
<17*>Cartographic materials: Aston, M.. 1967. Bishop's Palace Moat, Alvechurch, Worcestershire. Mick Aston Archive.
<18*>Cartographic materials: Aston, M.. Unknown. Recontruction of ponds and watercourses. Mick Aston Archive.
<19*>Map: Aston, M.. Unknown. Bishop of Worcester's Palace, Fishponds, Pond and Millsites, Alvechurch. Mick Aston Archive. .
<20*>Unpublished document: Aston, M.. Unknown. Bishop's Palace and Fishponds, Alvechurch. Mick Aston Archive.
<21*>Unpublished document: Aston, M.. Unknown. Third Draft: Earthworks at the Bishop's Palace, Alvechurch, Worcestershire. Mick Aston Archive.
<22*>Illustration: Aston, M.. 1969. Reconstruction of Alvechurch Palace Moat. Mick Aston Archive.
<23*>Illustration: Bond, C.J.. Unknown. Reconstruction drawing of Alvechurch Moat. Mick Aston Archive.
<24>Aerial Photograph: CUCAP. 1954. Oblique photograph of the Bishop's Palace, Alvechurch, looking south west.
<25>Unpublished document: Pearson, E. 2013. Forthcoming: Toolkit for Rapid Assessment of Small Wetland Sites. worcestershire archaeology.
<26>Map: Ordnance Survey. 2003. Digital 1st Edition OS Map (Original scale: 25"(1:2500)). Landmark Digital . 1880-1889.
<27>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1954-1963. Digital 5th Edition OS Map (Original scale:6" (1:10560)). Landmark Digital. 1954-1963.
<28>Aerial Photograph: www.getmapping.com. 1999-2000. 1:2500 Vertical Air Photographic Coverage of Worcestershire 1999. r:/basemaps/aerial/aerial.
<29>Aerial Photograph: RAF. 2005. 1:2500 Vertical Air Photographic Coverage of Worcestershire 2005. getmapping.com.
<30>Aerial Photograph: Google Earth. Reg Updates. Satellite Imagery on Google Earth.. Google.
<31>Survey: Environment Agency. 2011. Environment Agency Geo-referenced LiDAR image.
<32>Personal Comment: Cornah T. Various. Personal comment.
<33>Bibliographic reference: Lockett, Richard. 1997. A Survey of Historic Parks and Gardens in Worcestershire. Hereford and Worcester Gardens Trust. p5.
<34>Article in serial: 1954-1982. Current Archaeology. 4 1952 pp 9-140.
<35>Bibliographic reference: 1915-1961. Transactions of Birmingham Archaeological Society. Tran Bham Arch Soc. 72 1954 5-9.
<36>Bibliographic reference: Lockett R and Patton J. 2019. A Survey of Historic Parks and Gardens in Worcestershire. Hereford and Worcester Gardens Trust. p.25-26.