Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/416

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A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE country ; the subject is well worth the investigation which it still awaits. There are at least 1 50 of these ' homestead moats ' in Warwickshire. Sometimes the ancient dwelling-place which once stood within the pro- tected area, and which was probably of wood, has entirely disappeared, as at Kent's Moat, Cheswick Green, Hob's Moat, Ladbroke and elsewhere. But, for the most part, an ancient manor house or fortified mediaeval mansion still stands upon the water encircled island. This is often, of course, not nearly so old as the moat, which may have seen several successive edifices erected in course of ages upon the site. Notable local examples of these often picturesque moated houses are Baddesley Clinton, Astley Castle near Nuneaton, Maxstoke Castle and Compton Wyniates. (G l ) In connection with many mediaeval castles, artificial banks of earth are found surrounding areas now dry but which were originally covered by sheets of water which they served to dam. These broad water defences, which differ from the ordinary moat, were fed by some neighbouring stream, and were often very extensive, as well as most elaborately engineered with channels and sluices. Conspicuous examples of this are to be seen in the dams of the great artificial lake, with its extensions, which once existed at Kenilworth Castle, and also at Brandon Castle. (G u ) While the various earthworks previously described served to defend an enclosed area, ' dykes and ramparts ' and earthen ' walls ' are sometimes found running in a more or less continuous line across country for many miles. Well known examples of these are the ' Wall ' of Antoninus, reaching across Scotland from the Forth to the Clyde, the triple ramparts in front of Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, and the great Offa's and Watt's Dykes upon the Welsh border. They were probably constructed partly for defence and partly to serve as boundaries. In Warwickshire the ramparts at Loxley, though short, are apparently of this type. Lastly, on account of their outward similarity to defensive earth- works, some mention must here be made of the great earth-heaped sepulchral tumuli of prehistoric days. We have many of these burial mounds in Warwickshire, and they are not always easy to distinguish from worn examples of moated mount forts ; in fact many of the latter have frequently been misnamed 'tumuli,' even when encircling moat and adjoining court showed a different origin ; when the moat has dis- appeared, the spade alone can decide between the two ; even then it is always possible that the makers of a certain fort may have incorporated in it an ancient sepulchral mound, which they found ready to hand upon the spot. Notable examples of tumuli in Warwickshire are, or were (for some are now destroyed), at Butler's Marston, Combe, Churchover (Pilgrim's Low) near Hartshill, King's Newnham, Ruyton (Knightlow), Rugby, Wibtoft (Cloudsley Bush), Wolston and elsewhere. 354