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Chidleys Farm Moated Site

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Brierley Moat

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO79838589
Latitude 52.47061° Longitude -2.29828°

Chidleys Farm Moated Site 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.


The moated site 170m south east of Chidleys Farm is a well-preserved example of this type of monument and is one of the smallest known moated sites in Shropshire. The moated island retains upstanding and buried evidence of the structures that once stood on the site. These structures, together with the associated artefacts and organic remains, will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants of the site. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surfaces beneath the raised interior and under the external bank, and deposited within the moat, will also provide information about the changes to the local environment and the use of the land before and after the moated site was constructed.
The monument includes the earthwork, upstanding structural and buried remains of a medieval moated site and an associated fishpond, which lie within two separate areas of protection.
The moated site is situated on a gentle south west facing slope at the base of an escarpment. The moat, which is waterlogged, is fed by a spring at its north eastern corner. The arms of the moat are between 7m and 9m wide, and define a square island approximately 21m across. The internal faces of the moat were revetted with stone and served as the base for a sandstone block curtain wall around the island, the bottom course of which is still partly visible.
Material excavated from the moat has been used to raise the south western part of the island by about 1.5m above the level of the surrounding land in order to create a level building platform. Spoil from this operation has also been used to form an external bank, about 6m wide, alongside the south western moat arm. Its northern end has been cut by a modern drainage ditch.
Fifty metres to the south west of the moated site, and within the second area of protection, is a rectangular fishpond, which retains water. It is aligned north west to south east and is approximately 55m long and 10m wide. It was created by digging into the south west facing slope, and the material excavated was deposited along its south west side to form a dam, which is about 7m wide and stands to a height of 1.2m. The northern end of the dam has been breached providing an outlet for the water. A modern drainage ditch feeds water from the moat to the pond. It is not included in the scheduling. (Scheduling Report)

Brierley Moat lies on the 550 ft contour, on the western side of a bluff which rises to a height of 580 ft. The site is approximately square, and has a total area of 2500 square yards. The central platform measures some 66 ft square and rises six feet from the present moat surface. The moat seems to have been fed by natural springs, and although the stream now flows along the northern channel only, the whole of the moat is muddy. The banks on the outer lip of the moat have been ploughed out, except on the western side. The platform has trees growing upon it, and there is considerable evidence of stonework, particularly on the sides of the platform and moat, and on the platform, and around the outer edges of the moat. To the west a rectangular pool measuring 168 ft by 38 ft was probably a fishpond associated with the moat. A further pool to the south appears to fairly modern. To the west a possible earthwork feature may represent a boundary or outer defence. To the south there are a series of soil marks which were not investigated.
The moat, generally as described above, was overgrown at the time of investigation. The western bank is a retaining bank (on the downhill side) and there is nothing to suggest that there were formerly banks on the other sides. Individual stones were seen but no stonework in situ. The outer slope of the southern arm has been reduced by ploughing (Stour and Smestow Arch Res Gp Field Research Paper 1 (c 1970) plan).
SO 79788584: A marshy flat hollow 0.5m in depth, 44.0m in length from north-west to south-east and 5.0m in width at the higher, south-east end, and 9.0m in width at the open, north-west end, its south-west side is formed by a straight flat-topped bank, 8.0m in width, 1.4m in height internally, and 1.0m in height externally, which turns parallel to the track on its south-west side; it is connected to the moat by a modern drainage ditch but its date and purpose is uncertain and its association with the moat is doubtful although the suggestion is that it was a fishpond. The field to the south was under grass, and nothing of significance was seen (Field Investigators Comments - F1 DJC 05-JUN-79).
SO798859 Moat with fishpond noted in a list of moated sites in Shropshire (Moated Sites Res Grp Rep 7 1980 50). (PastScape 114344)

Probably a late medieval moated site, some distance from Alveley church. Gatehouse has not found any tenurial history but presumably a sub-manorial house of yeoman status, rather than a gentry status manor house.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:55

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