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Elmley Lovett

In the civil parish of Elmley Lovett.
In the historic county of Worcestershire.
Modern Authority of Worcestershire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Worcestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO86476967
Latitude 52.32517° Longitude -2.19950°

Elmley Lovett has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The medieval settlement at Elmley Lovett survives well as an area of clearly defined earthworks and buried remains of a variety of settlement features such as the toft and croft sites, the moated manorial complex and the site of the post-medieval mansion in which evidence for the nature of the settlement will be preserved. The crofts and building platforms will contain buried evidence for houses, barns and other structures, accompanied by a range of boundaries, refuse pits, wells and drainage channels, all related to the development of the settlement. Artefacts buried in association with the buildings will provide further insights into the lifestyle of the inhabitants and assist in dating the changes through time. Environmental evidence may also be preserved, illustrating the economy of the hamlet and providing further information about its agricultural regime.
The moated medieval manorial complex lay to the north of the settlement, adjacent to the church. A circular platform measuring at least 50m in diameter is surrounded on three sides by a deep wide moat, now dry. The moat survives best on the east in the space between the platform and the churchyard boundary, where it measures at least 4m wide and up to 2.5m deep. There are traces of a counterscarp bank which survives best to the north where greater effort was required to retain the moat against the falling ground level. The moated site may have been abandoned when a new half timbered mansion was erected in 1635, 200m to the south of the church. The mansion was demolished in 1890, and its location is indicated by a large, partially walled, overgrown enclosure and a nearby mound of building rubble believed to be the site of a 17th century rectangular dovecote. (Scheduling Report)

The ring work west of the church at SO 8650 6969 is 42 .0m in diameter with a flat-bottomed ditch on the east side where it is 2.1m high. It is 2.6m high on the north and west sides where there is a berm 12.0m wide and 1.2m high. The summit, 33.0m in diameter is nearly circular and saucer-shaped with a depression 0.3m deep. There is a causeway on the south side. (PastScape F1 DJC 08-JAN-76)

Documented from the 9th century, the original village at Elmley Lovett lay south of the church. Its name indicates a clearing among elm trees; woodland 1 x 1/2 league recorded in 1086, lay within Forest of Ombersley until c.1230. There are substantial population records at various dates. Field evidence suggests the village was deserted before the 17th century. The village boundary and some crofts and platforms are visible, but it is difficult to discern any clear street pattern. The medieval manor house can be identified with the ring-moat adjacent to the churchyard at the northern end of the village site.The medieval fishponds lie in the fields to the east. Drive to the 'The Lodge', built 1635, demolished 1890, bisected the village earthworks. (Worcestershire and Worcester City HER)

Seems generally to have been considered as a circular moat rather than a ringwork castle, although not dissimilar to sites quite usually called ringworks. The date of the site is only generally known, although circular moats are usually considered to be relatively early.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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