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Gannow Green moat

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Cannow Green; Frankley

In the civil parish of New Frankley in Birmingham.
In the historic county of Worcestershire.
Modern Authority of Birmingham.
1974 county of West Midlands.
Medieval County of Worcestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO98457839
Latitude 52.40352° Longitude -2.02419°

Gannow Green moat has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The moated site 700m east of Gannow Green Farm is a well preserved example of a simple moat typical of many to be found in the area. Limited excavation has confirmed the survival of substantial structures, such as walls and hearths, which will, together with information on the original ground level and evidence of several phases of reuse, increase the understanding of the use and development of the site.
The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of a rectangular moated site measuring approximately 90m by 70m and orientated east to west. The arms of the moat, which are dry, are 5m to 9m wide and 3m to 4m deep, being widest at the angles. Earthen causeways give access to the moat island on the south arm, towards the centre, and on the east arm, towards the north east angle. The banks of the moat are level with the surrounding ground. The moat encloses a rectangular island which measures approximately 60m by 40m and is also level with the surrounding ground. The surface of the island is undulating and pitted with a number of shallow depressions which may be the buried remains of buildings. The moat was formerly fed by a stream which now flows outside the south and west arms and which has been utilised as a surface storm drain for the surrounding housing development. Limited excavations in advance of the development found evidence, in the form of substantial coursed ashlar stone walls, that the moated site was occupied during the 13th to 15th centuries. (Scheduling Report)

In 1961, ahead of building development, Gannow Green Moat was excavated by Birmingham Archaeological Society's junior fieldwork group directed by B K Roberts. It was found that the site had been occupied from the 13th century to the 15th century. On the south side was found a massive stone curtain-wall which had been built in the first half of the 14th century, and a fine tiled hearth of cI400. Evidence was also uncovered of buildings with tiled roofs..
This moated site at the west end of Devon Road, now a Sceduled Ancient Monument,  is the location of the medieval manor house. Now dry and grassed, the moat was dug to surround a timber-framed building of some size and prestige. This moat was edged with a sandstone wall and must have been an expensive venture, more a display of status than for defence, and only undertaken by people of some wealth.
Two fishponds east of the moat, around Devon Road/ Kent Road, and around Lismore Close must have provided an important addition to the medieval diet; these too were a status symbol. Although the sites are now covered by housing, part of the dam of one of the ponds can still be seen alongside Mull Close. The dam was originally built across the River Rea, though that river has subsequently diverted to its present course. (Dargue 2010)

Emery writes "A massive early C14 curtain wall was revealed at Cannow Green" Presumably this is Gannow Green.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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