. . . 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. It lies in the northern part of Solihull in the West Midlands of England and is surrounded by housing. It is a scheduled ancient monument.
The earthwork had been heavily damaged in the twentieth century simply by the presence of people. Its fate looked bleak. It seemed nothing could be done to save the site from increasing deterioration.
In 1985 a project was established to save the earthwork from further decline. . .
This is the story of the Hobs Moat Community Project. It conserved and restored the earthwork, rescuing 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.
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. . . . . . . .
The pdf report contains video sequences. There are two options for download.
download the report without the video sequences – then, optionally, download video files as the report is read. Advantage: much quicker initial access, but slow video downloads. See important note below.
download the report with video sequences embedded. Exceedingly long download time (230 Mb), but video then accessible locally and without delay. Save to HD.
Adobe Reader 9.0 or later or equivalent required to play video. It is likely that your browser, perhaps Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, will present the report as it downloads in a screen produced by its internal pdf player. This will not play video. Rght-click screen and ‘save as’ file locally, perhaps in Downloads. Then, right-click this new file and play with Adobe Reader or Acrobat, etc.
The report is also available on DVD data disc.
The project lasted three years and 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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Update for Android.