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In the civil parish of Diddlebury.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO46658591
Latitude 52.46869° Longitude -2.78645°

Westhope has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Westhope moat and associated fishpond is a well preserved example of a medieval homestead moat with a water management system. The monument is essentially undisturbed and will retain considerable potential for the preservation of archaeological and environmental evidence.
Westhope moat and fishpond lie to the south-west of Westhope village, 400m south-south-west of Westhope Hall. The moat island is surrounded by a wide flat bottomed ditch, 2m deep and 10m to 12m wide, which is mainly waterlogged. There is an outer bank on the east arm of the moat ditch, with slight traces of a second curving outer bank on the north-east corner. The main outer bank on the eastern 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 north-east corner of the island a causeway 2.5m wide crosses the ditch. On the south-west corner of the moat lie the remains of a rectangular fishpond measuring 20m north-south and 10m east-west. The pond site is waterlogged and connected to the stream by a shallow channel on its north-west 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 water-filled. 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. (Scheduling Report)

Dry remains of moat in Moat Meadow near Westhope Hall. The square platform rises 14ft above the bottom of the surrounding ditch which is 35ft across except at the NE corner where it is narrowed by a projection from the platform, possibly for a bridge. The south side is bounded by fish-ponds and a stream. A trench dug into the platform revealed no traces of foundations, but bricks have been dug up at the side of the fish-ponds (Martin; APs).
A square, marshy homestead moat with arms 66.0m in length 16.0m in width, 1.7m in depth, placed on the N bank of a stream. This was formerly dammed to fill the moat, by an extension of the outer retaining bank to the E arm being carried across the stream to the S bank, but this has now been breached by the stream.
Access to the island, which is under pasture and shows no visible remains of buildings, was by a narrow causeway across the northern end of the E arm to the NE corner of the island (F1 ASP 10-JAN-73).
Noted in a list of Moated Sites in Shropshire. Moat complete, with fishponds (MSRGR 1980).
These lie at a distance from Westhope and may have been constructed during the 13th and 14th centuries when woodland was systematically cleared for agricultural purposes. According to local tradition the moat island is considered to be the site of 'The Castle', a building which was once fortified for military use (English Heritage SAM Amendment 13/JUL/1992).
The earthwork remains of the moat described by the previous authorities and surrounding fields of presumed associated ridge and furrow were seen centred at SO 4667 8595 and mapped from aerial photographs. (PastScape)

Eyton's tenurial history is not inconsistent with a modest moated house but as it was held by tenants of yeoman status, rather than of knightly status, it would be unlikely this was dressed up with martial symbols like battlements and the local story of it being the site of a castle is probably fanciful and informed by the numerous actual castles in the area.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:30

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