Hobs Moat

. . . but looking well thereabouts, and making diligent enquiry of the inhabitants, I found a large Moat,. . . . . . . .  . . whereon they say a Castle long since was situate .

Some of the neighbourhood do call this Hoggs moat . . .

                                    - Sir William Dugdale, 1656   

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At 1 hectare-plus (2.5 acres) Hobs Moat is a dramatic and most impressive example of the type of earthwork known to archaeologists as a moated homestead site. Lying in the northern part of Solihull in the West Midlands of England, it is surrounded by housing. It is a scheduled ancient monument.

Heavily damaged in the twentieth century simply by the presence of people, the fate of the earthwork looked bleak. It seemed nothing could be done to save it from increasing deterioration.

In 1985 a project was established to save the earthwork.

                               A TWENTIETH CENTURY


In eget sapien vitae massa rhoncus.

This is the story of the Hobs Moat Community Project, which rescued the earthwork, restoring it from its sad condition.

An account of the history of Hobs Moat, as uncovered by the project, is also given here.

Read project’s final report.

Read more:

Site History Conservation Admin Report

   By 1985 the site was largely devoid of topsoil and the ramparts had been reduced in height by half a metre. Even the trees had begun to die.


    It was as if the earthwork itself was dying. At ground level it was a desert.

Only a special project could restore the balance. . . . . . . .


In the 1930s Hobs Moat had been undisturbed for centuries. Planted with trees in the 1780s, these had produced low light at ground level, which discouraged ground cover. Now newly arrived people produced
simply by the passage of feet . . . .
       on a huge scale.

Lasting three years the project produced work for 66 people at any one time in a period of mass unemployment, improving the local environment and safeguarding this nationally recognised historical site.

The brief of the project (opens in separate tab).

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