Home History & Archaeology Medieval Moat and Bridge Discovered Defending Farmhouse in England

Medieval Moat and Bridge Discovered Defending Farmhouse in England

Medieval Moat and Bridge Discovered Defending Farmhouse in England


Driving via the enterprise parks of Tewkesbury, you would possibly miss the hidden items of a medieval previous that lie discreetly among the many trendy buildings. One such gem, Cowfield Farm, reveals a wealthy historical past beneath its 18th-century facade. This habitation originated in medieval days and is proof that moats weren’t only for castles. Excavations have proven this farmhouse was initially surrounded by a moat, with the location unveiling its previous life following redevelopment after a hearth in 2004. It has revealed a bygone period of medieval farming and way of life which may in any other case have remained hid.

A Glimpse into Medieval Agrarian Life

Cowfield Farm’s historical past is deeply entwined with the medieval panorama, courting again to the Twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Initially constructed inside an oblong enclosure, the farm was primarily targeted on cattle rearing, indicated by a vaccary or cowshed. This specialization got here to gentle via meticulous archaeological and documentary analysis, highlighting the farm’s significance in offering dairy and meat merchandise to the close by Twelfth-century Tewkesbury Abbey and its city environment.

Apparently, the earliest data linking the farm to Tewkesbury Abbey date again to 1535, suggesting a longstanding relationship aimed toward mutual profit.

The format and stays of the farm supply a glimpse right into a self-sufficient medieval institution, full with a farmhouse, cowshed, and different important outbuildings, all managed underneath the watchful eye of the abbey’s monks.

The stone footprint of the farmhouse, with a contemporary bridge visible in the foreground. (Cotswold Archaeology)

The stone footprint of the farmhouse, with a up to date bridge seen within the foreground. (Cotswold Archaeology)

Architectural Insights and Every day Life

The remnants of Cowfield Farm, significantly the substantial medieval moat encircling the stone basis of a newer farmhouse, paint an image of the architectural ambitions of the time. A big aisled constructing, probably serving as a cowshed, signifies the standard and grandeur related to the abbey’s estates. These options, together with the invention of a mid-Fifteenth-century wood bridge, supply a tangible connection to the farm’s historic residents and their each day actions.

The artifacts unearthed, together with a ceramic dripping tray, a pilgrim badge, and a medieval ebook clasp, narrate the social and religious dimensions of the inhabitants’ lives. These findings counsel a neighborhood striving for a stability between worldly duties and religious pursuits, a typical hallmark of the Center Ages.

Medieval book clasp or hinge plate found at the site. (Cotswold Archaeology)

Medieval ebook clasp or hinge plate discovered on the website. (Cotswold Archaeology)

Symbolism and Safety: The Function of the Moat

The moat surrounding Cowfield Farm was not merely a defensive characteristic however a major social image. It represented standing and safety, reflecting the societal hierarchy and the delineation between totally different social courses. This water barrier not solely protected the residents bodily but additionally symbolized the safety of lineage and the sanctity of the family, significantly for the ladies inside.

The story of Cowfield Farm neatly exhibits the change between previous and current, providing a vivid portrayal of medieval agriculture, structure, and societal norms, now positioned inside a contemporary industrial setting. Because the layers of historical past are peeled again, the farm serves as a reminder of the farming life that when thrived on this a part of the Severn vale.

High picture: Remnants of the wood bridge over the medieval moat present in Tewkesbury, England. Supply: Cotswold Archaeology

By Gary Manners



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