Harvington Hall

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are major building remains

NameHarvington Hall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWorcestershire
Modern AuthorityWorcestershire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishChaddesley Corbett

Harvington Hall and attached east bridge Country house and bridge. Probably C14, substantially remodelled late C16/ early C17, partly demolished c1701 with some remodelling, restored 1930. Brick with stone dressings, incorporating timber-framing; tile roof. Basically an L-plan, one limb extending to north, the other to west. The north limb contains a medieval timber-framed range of four bays, with north tower of C17 date, at south end a late C16 to early C17 block. The range to west is late C16 to early C17 comprising a first floor "banqueting hall", with kitchen to south-west corner, main staircase to north-west; a hall probably extended northwards from the staircase, demolished c1701. Entrance (east) front: two-storey range to centre, three-storey blocks to each corner, that to left with attic. Left-hand block: a 4-light stone mullioned window to each floor, gable to attic, stack with two diamond-plan shafts to left. Central block: five windows, three 2-light casements alternate with two 4- light casements under gablets; similar pattern on ground floor, save large window to right of centre which is the entrance, with two large doors (approached by east bridge). Right-hand block: a 3-light casement to each floor under timber lintels; to left-hand side windows at half level for staircase, including an oval window. On ground floor a boxed glazing bar sash under segmental head. Detailing of rest of building similar to left- hand block, save elevation to courtyard of west limb which is ashlared where the probable hall range stood, dated by "1701" on rainwater head. Interior: extensive traces of an ambitious scheme of wall painting of late C16 to early C17, including the Nine Worthies in a second floor passage. The main staircase is a 1930s replica of the original, which was removed to Coughton Court, Warwickshire. In the banqueting hall there are remnants of later C17 panelling with elaborate painted decoration

The house contains one of the best known collections of priests' hiding holes; in particular, one contrived under the main staircase, entered via hinged steps; and that in Dr Dod's Library, entered via a hole, created by swinging a stud. East Bridge: a single segmental brick arch supports the plain ashlar parapets. The island on which the house stands (along with the Malt House and the chapel) is surrounded by a water-filled moat. (Listed Building Report)

The moated site at Harvington Hall includes a range of associated features, the majority of which are well documented. The development of the status of the site will enhance our understanding of moated sites. The complex of fishponds surrounding the site and the evidence of the engineering required to establish the water management features within the confines of the landscape enhances the importance of the site.

The survival of the original quarries used in the construction of the site, and the documentation and physical evidence for the reuse of the quarries, as part of the domestic complex providing kennels and an ice house, provide further rare insights into the origins, construction and domestic reuse of the monument.

The moated site and pond have remained water-filled and the preservation of organic remains would be expected. Part excavation within the island of the moated site has also shown that several phases of archaeological deposits survive, including evidence of prehistoric occupation prior to the construction of the moated site. The series of buildings which survive on the island and which include the Hall, granary, chapel and the malt house further add to our understanding of the use and development of structures within a moated site.

The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site and its associated fishpond complex and quarries at Harvington Hall, Chaddesley Corbett. The moat is sub-rectangular and measures approximately 150m north to south by 110m east to west with a large triangular island upon which stands Harvington Hall. The Hall, a Grade I Listed Building of the late medieval period, is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

To the immediate north east of the moated site is a sub-rectangular pond. This pond is the sole remaining unmodified pond formerly part of a chain of four ponds surrounding the moated site. To the north of the moated site lies a large sandstone quarry, from which the building materials used in the construction and modification of the Hall are believed to have come and which was later reused and adapted to serve as the kennels complex associated with the Hall. To the west of the Hall a further quarry also provided stone for building works at the moat. In the south west corner of this quarry is the entrance to the ice house associated with Harvington Hall. All the arms of the moat remain water-filled. The moat is partly lined with bricks and red sandstone blocks. The main approach to the island is via a Listed Grade I single arched bridge built of red sandstone and reinforced in brick. The buildings on the island rise directly from the moat edge in a sheer face along the inner face of the arms of the moat. On the north west part of the island lie an 18th century chapel and a 17th century malt house both of which are Listed Grade II and are included in the scheduling. There is a second entrance to the island to the south west in the form of a stone built double arched bridge with brick arch linings and which is Listed Grade II. Both entrances are believed to have been original entrances to the moat island.

On the northern side of the moated site, a substantial earthen bank acts as a dam retaining the water against the natural slope away from the site. There is an outlet in the northern angle of the outer bank of the moat ditch, allowing water to flow down hill from the moat. The modern approach to Harvington Hall runs across the retaining bank of the north eastern arm of the moat. The island of the moated site is roughly triangular, orientated north east to south west. The buildings of Harvington Hall are located in the south and east sectors of the island, with the main house in the southern angle. The interior of the island is largely level, although excavations in advance of a drainage trench uncovered archaeological deposits ranging from prehistoric to post- medieval.

To the north east of the moated site, across the modern access road, lies the sub-rectangular pool known as 'Gallows Pool' on the late 18th century estate plan. This pond formed the first of a chain of ponds recorded as surrounding the hall in early maps. At the north western end of the pool lies a small separate stone lined pond. This is where the spring rises which feeds the entire system. A cobbled hollow way runs from opposite the eastern end of the quarry arcing towards the Gallows Pool.

The quarry which lies to the north east of the moated site exhibits signs of occupation, including beam slots, tooling and brick lined faces of chimney flues. To the west of the moat lies a second quarry, a further source of building materials for the Hall. This quarry also contains substantial tooling marks and beam slots. In the south eastern angle is a brick lined archway which is the entrance way to the ice house associated with the Hall. The ice house is partly constructed from brick and partly hewn from the sandstone, it would originally have been stocked with ice taken from the adjacent pond complex. The remains of the ice house are included in the scheduling. (Scheduling Report)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO877744
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Copyright John Wesley Barker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright John Wesley Barker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright John Wesley Barker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright John Wesley Barker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright John Wesley Barker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright John Wesley Barker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.
Copyright John Wesley Barker and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 343
  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) p. 321
  • Aston, M. and Bond, C.J., 1988, 'Worcestershire fishponds' in M. Aston (ed), Medieval fish, fisheries, and fishponds in England (British Archaeological Reports British series 182) part 2
  • Pevsner, N., 1968, Buildings of England: Worcestershire (Harmondsworth, Penguin Books) p. 192-4
  • Page, Wm and Willis-Bund, J.W. (eds), 1913, VCH Worcestershire Vol. 3 p. 35 online transcription


  • Hodgetts, Michael, 1962, 'The Priest-Holes at Harvington Hall' Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society (NS) Vol. 39 p. 1-
  • Hodgkinson, H.R., 1955 'Further Notes on Harvington Hall' Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society Vol. 73 p. 90
  • Hodgkinson, H.R., 1943 'Recent Discoveries at Harvington Hall, Chaddesley Corbett' Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society Vol. 62 for 1938 p. 1-26


  • Stone, R. 1995. Harvington Hall, Harvington, Worcestershire - Interim Report on Excavations and Building Survey. Archaeological Investigations Ltd. City of Hereford Archaeology Unit. 233
  • Stone, R. 1995. Harvington Hall, Harvington, Worcestershire - Interim Report on Archaeological Investigations in the Moat, and Other Minor Works. Archaeological Investigations Ltd. City of Hereford Archaeology Unit. 238