Pembridge Court House Farm Moat

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NamePembridge Court House Farm Moat
Alternative Names
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishPembridge

Earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated site, situated on the southern edge of Pembridge village, on ground which slopes gently northwards towards the River Arrow. The moat itself was originally D-shaped; its straight western arm was infilled in the 17th century and is now partly occupied by the house and outbuildings of Court House Farm. The monument is bounded to the north by St Mary's churchyard, and to the east and south by pasture fields. The monument measures a maximum of 77m north-south, and 81m west-east. The moated platform is now used as a garden area for the farm, and is planted with apple and hazel trees. The moat ditch is steep sided and up to 5m deep, with a growth of brambles and trees (mostly elderberry and young elm), which has been cleared in some areas. Averaging 15m in width, the moat is damp and water-filled in places to a depth of 0.4m. The west end of the southern arm was infilled in the 1960s to provide access from the platform to the farmland to the south; a gate now divides the two areas. A stone wall marks the western extent of this arm prior to its infilling. A box hedge divides the platform from the courtyard area to the south of the house. In the north west quarter, east and north east of the farmhouse, the line of the infilled western moat arm is indicated by a distinct slope, currently supporting a rockery, which descends from the platform to another area of garden. A brick wall divides this area from the churchyard at the north west corner, continuing eastwards as a dry stone wall supporting the northern edge of the moat ditch for c.10m. A wooden fence marks the outer edge of the moat ditch on the church side, with a gate through into the field in the north east quarter through which the public footpath continues, now unsurfaced. There is a wooden fence across the eastern arm of the moat itself

It is thought that the infilling of the western ditch and the construction of Court House Farm in the 17th century marked the point when the principal residence was moved away from the moated platform. Prior to its 18th century modifications the house would have been similar to many buildings in Pembridge, almost all of which are timber-framed, including the fine timber market hall at its centre. (Scheduling Report)

The earthwork remains of a medieval moat at Court House Farm. The moat lies east of the present farmhouse which dates from the early 17th century, though it was considerably altered in the early 17th century. Further alteration work was carried out during the 20th century. The timber framed house is irregular in plan with tiled and Welsh slate roofs. The west side of the moat has been infilled but the remainder survives as an earthwork. No building remains survive within the moat but a geophysical survey of the moated island suggests that a stone hall occupied the north west corner of the site. A 17th century document refers to a 'mansion house' south of the church and the 'remains of a fortified keep or small castle'. (PastScape)

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 ReferenceSO390580
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Photo by Therron Welstead All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Photo by Therron Welstead All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Shoesmith, Ron, 2009 (Rev edn.), Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire (Logaston Press) p. 231
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, Castles of Herefordshire and Worcestershire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 56
  • 1981, Herefordshire Countryside Treasures (Hereford and Worcester County Council) p. 14
  • RCHME, 1934, An inventory of the historical monuments in Herefordshire Vol. 3: north-west p. 163 no. 5 online transcription
  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Herefordshire Vol. 1 p. 251 (plan)
  • Robinson, C.J., 1869, The Castles of Herefordshire and Their Lords (London: Longman) p. 129 online copy


  • Archaeological Research Section Woolhope NFC, 1994, Herefordshire Archaeological News Vol. 63 p. 18
  • Cornish Watkins, S., 1917, 'The Sherborne family of Pembridge' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club p. 239-241


  • Dalwood, H. and Bryant, V. (eds), 2005, The Central Marches Historic Towns Survey 1992-6 Download online copy
  • Cruse, Graham, 2005, Court House Farm moated site, Pembridge, Herefordshire. (Border Archaeology. BA0433PAT/1)
  • Hoverd, Tim, 2002, Court House Farm, Pembridge: An Archaeological Survey (Herefordshire Archaeology. 60)