. . . 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
Thank you for your visit today. Additions to the website shortly.
Hobs Moat lies at the junction of Castle Lane with Lode Lane, Solihull, and the Hobs Moat Road - map. It is close to the LandRover factory and the Ice Rink, surrounded by houses and situated on a hill. The contour map, produced by the community project, shows that the earthwork has several interesting features - the rectangular platform, the large ‘ramparts’ (unusually, both internal and external), the lane or track to the north of the site, the lesser scale of the southern and south-western part of the earthwork.
Links below show, also, the results of the further geophysical survey of the moat platform by the project. The moat from the air (1200 ft.) was photographed in 2016.
Hobs Moat in photos
Informal rectangles show excavations inside scheduled area.
This is the second of two gaps in the eastern inner rampart (the other is the main entrance). Here a building older than the present earthwork was shown in excavation - the purpose of the buildingis not known.
This is the building in the second of the two gaps in the eastern inner rampart under excavation. It was a small structure with a curved end wall (top). After it was demolished water was collected from the ditch here.
A new path on the eastern side of the earthwork outside the scheduled area was a major gain for the community project. Here you are looking north, towards the shopping centre. Castle Lane is at the south.
The main entrance to the moat platform, half-way along the eastern side. Beyond, when the site was occupied, there would have been buildings. The vegetation is much changed since this image was taken in 1987.
This area was conserved and seeded in 1987, but still presented an open appearance. In 2016 it was recorded that much shrubbery and low bushes had become established. The area was ‘protected’.
The seeded conservation area in 2016. Previously an open aspect, the area has now become heavily populated with blushes and brambles. Easy passage through this area is no longer possible.
The south-eastern corner of the earthwork with the reduced ditch and ramparts, looking west. The moat does not seem to have been ‘finished’ at this point - perhaps evidence for changed circumstances.
The western ramparts and ditch were largely bare and severely eroded in the 1980s. Compare this 2016 image - the earthwork is now heavily vegetated - with the one from 30 years ago next to ‘116’ above.
The western ramparts undergoing conservation in 1987, looking south: note the denuded condition still visible to the right. It is not possible to take a picture in this position today, because of the now existing vegetation.
The western internal rampart was excavated at this point to find out how it was made and to discover its history. This photo shows the internal structure of the rampart we see today.
The ‘lane’ in 1987, looking east. It was originally anticipated that this was a medieval track-way, but the archaeological team for 1986 - 1988 showed that it was a later structure, perhaps 18th century.
The gap in the northern rampart at this point is for drainage when the site was occupied in the mediaeval period. More than one drainage ditch emptied here. There may have been a building close by.
Survey was an important part of the project’s activities. Over two years thousands of reading were taken - for the ‘resistivity’ survey of the moat platform, and for the contour survey, which produced this map.
Videos show the condition of the site in 1986/1987, when the restoration work had begun.