Moated Site 570m West of Laxton Meadow Farm
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Gloucestershire County Council
Cheltenham Borough Council
SJ967967 (396666, 224623)
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A moated site containing the remains of the manor house of the Bishops of Hereford, situated immediately east of Cheltenham Racecourse. The site comprises two adjoining rectangular, moated enclosures orientated north west to south east. The southern part of both enclosures and the east side of the eastern area lie under and immediately around houses built between about 1900 and the 1960s. The moat and its internal and external banks are most visible in the north west corner of the western enclosure, where the moat is about 8 metres wide and both banks stand to about 1.5 metres high from the bottom of the usually water filled moat. The moat running south from this corner was filled in in 1983. The south western corner has been slightly obscured by later landscaping, but a denuded bank can be seen in the front garden of the house called 'Monks Meadow'. The moat and banks which divided the two enclosures are still visible, the moat surviving to about 2 metres wide and the banks standing to about 1.5 metres in height from the bottom of the moat. The eastern enclosure is slightly smaller than that to the west, and the moat and banks survive only on the northern side. At this point the moat is about 2 metres wide with the gently sloping bank to the north. Within this eastern enclosure, the outline of the manorial fishpond is still visible as a round depression, about 20 metres in diameter. The eastern side of the pond has been truncated by a private garden. Excavations undertaken within the western enclosure in 1951 revealed the foundations of the medieval manor house in the centre of the area. The excavations indicated that the manor house had a timber upper floor, and comprised an aisled ground-floor hall, a first floor solar and a chapel. A second building, which is thought to have been a kitchen, lay to the north west by the side of the moat, and there are indications of further outbuildings, visible as earthworks, to the north. Scheduled.
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