Information for record number MWA1021:
Site of Possible Moat 400m E of Church

Summary The site of a moat, a wide ditch usually surrounding a building. Aerial photographs and excavation prior to earth tipping suggested a Medieval date. It was situated at the south east end of the Recreation Ground at Stratford on Avon.
What Is It?  
Type: Moat?, Osier Bed?
Period: Medieval (1066 AD - 1539 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Stratford upon Avon
District: Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 20 54
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Sites & Monuments Record
Picture(s) attached


Source Number  

1 Earthworks indicative of a moated site appear on air photographs. 1968: The area has been completely flattened and no remains were seen. Examination of aerial photographs suggests this to have been a flanked redoubt of the Civil War, but this cannot be right (see reference
2 The site is called 'Hopyard'. An excavation was conducted in 1965 in advance of earth tipping. At this point is a clearly visible enclosure, c91m by 60m, surrounded by a broad moat and bank. The relationship between this moated site and adjacent ridge and furrow suggests a Medieval date. The site is marked on a map of 1599 and is marked as an osier bed and called the 'Hopyard'. The enclosure was sectioned on the E side and a trench dug into the interior to look for buildings. The moat was 1.2m deep and 10.7m wide. A bank was 0.9m high and at least 6m wide. The trench in the interior revealed no structures and only a few sherds of 13th-14th century pottery. These do no more than suggest a Medieval date. This could still represent a manor house.
3 Various air photographs.
4 Plan of the Earthworks.
5 Mentioned. Treswell's map of the manor, drawn in 1599, shows what appears to be a substantial moated site on the meadows of the Avon, opposite Stratford itself. Trial excavations in 1965 recorded that the 'moat' was clean, and no occupational evidence was found in the centre of the island. It might therefore have been a series of ditches for osier growing rather than a manor house.
6 Cropmarks of this feature, seemingly larger than a single 'moat' show on Google Earth 2007 and 2008 air photos.

Source No: 3
Source Type: Aerial Photograph
Title: SP2661 and SP2662
Author/originator: Various
Date: Various
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: SP2661AB-AC SP2662A-
Source No: 5
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Archaeology & Development in Stratford on Avon
Author/originator: Slater T R and Wilson C
Date: 1977
Page Number: 25
Source No: 2
Source Type: Excavation Report
Title: South Warwicks Bulletin
Author/originator: Dyer C
Date: 1966
Page Number: 1
Volume/Sheet: 1: 2
Source No: 6
Source Type: Internet Data
Title: Google Earth Aerial and Street View
Author/originator: Google Earth
Date: 1945-present
Page Number:
Source No: 4
Source Type: Plan
Title: Earthworks, Stratford on Avon
Page Number:
Source No: 1
Source Type: Record Card/Form
Title: OS Card 25NE6
Author/originator: Ordnance Survey
Date: 1968
Page Number:
The site of a moat, visible as a cropmark at Stratford upon Avon
Copyright: Warwickshire County Council
Date: 1979
Click here for larger image  
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Word or Phrase
source OS Card Ordnance Survey Record Card. Before the 1970s the Ordnance Survey (OS) were responsible for recording archaeological monuments during mapping exercises. This helped the Ordnance Survey to decide which monuments to publish on maps. During these exercises the details of the monuments were written down on record cards. Copies of some of the cards are kept at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. The responsibility for recording archaeological monuments later passed to the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments. back
technique Earthwork Earthworks can take the form of banks, ditches and mounds. They are usually created for a specific purpose. A bank, for example, might be the remains of a boundary between two or more fields. Some earthworks may be all that remains of a collapsed building, for example, the grassed-over remains of building foundations.

In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky than during the other seasons, earthworks have larger shadows. From the air, archaeologists are able to see the patterns of the earthworks more easily. Earthworks can sometimes be confusing when viewed at ground level, but from above, the general plan is much clearer.

Archaeologists often carry out an aerial survey or an earthwork survey to help them understand the lumps and bumps they can see on the ground.
technique Cropmark Cropmarks appear as light and dark marks in growing and ripening crops. These marks relate to differences in the soil below. For example, parched lines of grass may indicate stone walls. Crops that grow over stone features often ripen more quickly and are shorter than the surrounding crop. This is because there is less moisture in the soil where the wall lies.

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technique excavation Archaeologists excavate sites so that they can find information and recover archaeological materials before they are destroyed by erosion, construction or changes in land-use.

Depending on how complicated and widespread the archaeological deposits are, excavation can be done by hand or with heavy machinery. Archaeologists may excavate a site in a number of ways; either by open area excavation, by digging a test pit or a trial trench.
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technique Aerial Photograph Aerial photographs are taken during an aerial survey, which involves looking at the ground from above. It is usually easier to see cropmarks and earthworks when they are viewed from above. Aerial photographs help archaeologists to record what they see and to identify new sites. There are two kinds of aerial photographs; oblique and vertical. back
period Medieval 1066 AD to 1539 AD (the 11th century AD to the 16th century AD)

The medieval period comes after the Saxon period and before the post medieval period.

The Medieval period begins in 1066 AD.
This was the year that the Normans, led by William the Conqueror (1066 – 1087), invaded England and defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex.
The Medieval period includes the first half of the Tudor period (1485 – 1603 AD), when the Tudor family reigned in England and eventually in Scotland too.

The end of the Medieval period is marked by Henry VIII’s (1509 – 1547) order for the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the years running up to 1539 AD. The whole of this period is sometimes called the Middle Ages.
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monument CIVIL * This is the top term for the class. See CIVIL Class List for narrow terms. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument BUILDING * A structure with a roof to provide shelter from the weather for occupants or contents. Use specific type where known. back
monument RIDGE AND FURROW * A series of long, raised ridges separated by ditches used to prepare the ground for arable cultivation. This was a technique, characteristic of the medieval period. back
monument MANOR HOUSE * The principal house of a manor or village. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument REDOUBT * A defence work, either a detached fieldwork or an outwork built as part of a fortification as a last defensive position. back
monument MOAT * A wide ditch surrounding a building, usually filled with water. Use for moated sites, not defensive moats. Use with relevant site type where known, eg. MANOR HOUSE, GARDEN, etc. back
monument ENCLOSURE * An area of land enclosed by a boundary ditch, bank, wall, palisade or other similar barrier. Use specific type where known. back
monument MANOR * An area of land consisting of the lord's demesne and of lands from whose holders he may exact certain fees, etc. back
monument TRENCH * An excavation used as a means of concealment, protection or both. back
monument DITCH * A long and narrow hollow or trench dug in the ground, often used to carry water though it may be dry for much of the year. back
monument STRUCTURE * A construction of unknown function, either extant or implied by archaeological evidence. If known, use more specific type. back
monument OSIER BED * A place where osiers (willows) are grown for basket-making. back
monument MEADOW * A piece of grassland, often near a river, permanently covered with grass which is mown for use as hay. back
monument ISLAND * A piece of land, sometimes man-made, completely surrounded by water. back
monument RECREATION GROUND * A public ground with facilities for games and other activities. back
monument EARTHWORK * A bank or mound of earth used as a rampart or fortification. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record