History and Archaeology
The history of the site is lost in the mists of late mediaeval England. Its main feature is a well-preserved moat surrounding an island thought probably to have had a dwelling at one time but now wooded, together with two mediaeval fishponds. In addition, much of the site features "ridge and furrow", a land pattern common across much of the English Midlands, formed by ox ploughing in the Middle Ages.
The 1840 Tithe Map shows that the first field was then two fields; the part above the moat was described as 'Hill ' and the area above and beyond the second pond as ‘Brick Kiln Piece’ – probably where a temporary kiln was set up to make bricks for local use.
The second field was named ‘The Dells’ in the Tithe award and later known as ‘The Dingles’ – both terms meaning deep hollows. On the Inclosure Award of 1817 this field was still part of the Open Field called ‘Churchway Field '.
The ‘Hill ' is described as ‘the Close including the walk and ponds’ in 1817 and seems to have been part of the old vicarage grounds.
It is known that during the Second World War there was a small practice firing range in the second field with a concrete slit trench which protected the people operating the targets. There are still some visible remains of this trench - care should be taken when walking in this area.