The Non-defensive Medieval Moated Sites of the South-east Welsh March
: A survey of the three pre-1974 counties of Breconshire, Radnorshire and Monmouthshire, in two volumes.

  • Cliff Travers

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The origins of the project are outlined and definitions given for the subject and area of the study. The fundamental aims and objectives of the programme of research are set out together with the methodology adopted.

    Previously published classification systems for moated sites are outlined. Consideration is given to the advantages and disadvantages of these regimes alongside the aim of providing a basis for more uniform analysis of moated sites within Wales. The proposed classification system adopted for this study is set out. Type-sites from the study area, are identified and listed. Finally relevant sites within the study area are listed alongside their identified classifications, and the numbers within each classification are considered both in total and by each of the individual study counties.

    Aspects of topography relevant to the location of the moats within the study area are considered. Current understanding of the processes of climate change as they relate to their possible influence on moat construction is viewed alongside recent surveys relating to rainfall, drainage and relief within the surveyed counties. These factors along with relevant geological and soil surveys are shown in relation to the distribution of sites within the study area.

    An analysis of the distribution of these earthworks within administrative and political boundaries that existed during the fourteenth century is carried out. This relates these sites to the generally accepted period of the height of moat construction within Great Britain. In view of the varied administration and political allegiance within the March consideration is given to whether individual Marcher Lords or the Crown influenced moat distribution and design.

    The three earlier published surveys of moated sites in Wales are reviewed. This examination of work by Pratt, Spurgeon and the RCAHMW forms the basis for the following comparative study with the sites assessed in this three counties survey.

    A summary of the moated site gazetteer which comprises volume two of this work leads to the final concluding chapter of volume one. Conclusions drawn from the survey as a whole, are related to earlier work in this area and are followed by summaries of the specific conclusions drawn about these sites as they were found within their pre-1974 counties.

    Volume two of the thesis comprises a full Gazetteer of South-east Wales Moated Sites. The first three chapters are individual inventories of the moated earthworks identified within the three pre-1974 counties of Breconshire, Radnorshire and Monmouthshire respectively. Name and pre-1974 parish identify each location. Current district, Scheduled Ancient Monument
    reference, Archaeological Trust reference and an eight figure National Grid Reference are listed where available, together with the site altitude above Ordnance Datum and the site's survey classification. Individual sites are described alongside detailed plans and site aerial photographs where obtained. Each recently discovered site is labelled as such.

    Finally the thesis lists those sites that were investigated as part of this study, but found not to be applicable to the nature of it.

    Date of Award2004
    Original languageEnglish


    • Moats
    • Medieval buildings
    • South East Wales
    • moated sites
    • Earthworks

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