Moreton Valence Moat

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameMoreton Valence Moat
Alternative Names
Historic CountryGloucestershire
Modern AuthorityGloucestershire
1974 AuthorityGloucestershire
Civil ParishMoreton Valence

The moated site at Church Farm survives well. The island and subsidiary enclosure will contain buried deposits which are likely to include the remains of medieval structures, and will contain archaeological information relating to the construction and subsequent occupation and use of the moated site. The deposition of material excavated from the moat onto the island in the 1980s will have served to further protect the buried remains of structures on the island. Within the moat and other ditches, waterlogged deposits will preserve archaeological remains relating to the occupation and use of the site, along with organic material which will provide information about the economy of the site and the local environment during the medieval period. The leats provide an indication of the methods used to regulate the flow of water through the moat. The existence of documentary references relating to the construction and later history of the moated site is unusual for moats of this period in Gloucestershire, and will provide information about the site and its role within the local community.

The monument includes a moated site with associated water management features set on low-lying ground in the Severn Vale. The site includes a roughly rectangular moat and island with a subsidiary enclosure to the north east and evidence for leats to the north and west. The main island measures 45m by 31m and is surrounded by a moat with a maximum width of 18m and a minimum width of 10m. The moat is between 2m and 3m deep. To the north east is a subsidiary enclosure, visible as a series of earthworks, measuring 45m by 18m, and which would also have been enclosed by a moat up to 8m wide. Leats for the regulation of the flow of water through the moat can be seen as earthworks running from the northern and western corners of the moat, and would have drawn water from the two streams which flow through Moreton Valance

Documentary sources indicate that in 1253 King Henry III gave ten oaks from the Forest of Dean for the building of the hall of William de Valance at Moreton, and this is thought to refer to the construction of this site. The house of Aymer de Valance at Moreton was recorded in 1324, but by 1372 the buildings were said to be 'worth nothing beyond their expenses', and it is likely that they had already fallen out of use. There are no further references to the house or moat until 1674 when the site was deserted and recorded only as a close of one acre with a moat. Rudder, the 18th century Gloucestershire historian, described seeing 'ancient foundations of hewn stone' within the moat, which were said to be the foundations of the mansion of the Valances. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

This is thought to be the site of the hall built by William de Valence in 1253. It was documented again in 1324 but was probably in a state of disrepair by 1372. No evidence has been found to support the traditon that this is the site of a castle, but by church and close to Roman road in classic situation.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO779097
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Photo by Therron Welstead. All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Photo by Therron Welstead. All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Photo by Therron Welstead. All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

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  • Elrington, C.R. and Herbert, N.M. (eds), 1972, VCH Gloucestershire Vol. 10 p. 210 online transcription


  • Rawes, B., 1978, 'A Preliminary Check List of Moated Sites in Gloucestershire' Glevensis Vol. 12 p. 36 online copy
  • Rawes, B., 1977, 'A Check List of Castles and other Fortified Sites of Medieval Date in Gloucestershire' Glevensis Vol. 11 p. 39-41 online copy
  • 1909, 'Proceedings at the Annual Spring Meeting at Standish, Moreton Valence, Frampton and Leonard Stanley' Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Vol. 32 p. 10 online copy
  • 1880, The Antiquary Vol. 1 p. 186