Ancient Monuments

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Hextall moated site and fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Ranton, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.8217 / 52°49'18"N

Longitude: -2.2121 / 2°12'43"W

OS Eastings: 385802.964636

OS Northings: 324933.123818

OS Grid: SJ858249

Mapcode National: GBR 16L.5JY

Mapcode Global: WHBDR.ZBSM

Entry Name: Hextall moated site and fishponds

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007618

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21504

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Ranton

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Ranton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes the moated site and fishponds at Hextall, 700m
north-east of All Saints' Church, Ranton. The platform of the moated site
projects out of the natural hillslope and measures 42m east-west by 62m north-
south. The platform is enclosed on three sides by a dry, grass-covered moat,
up to 15m wide and 4m deep. There is now no surface evidence of the north arm
of the moat which has been infilled and built over but will survive as a
buried feature. There is an external enclosure bank which measures up to 0.7m
high on the western and eastern outer edges of the moat. The outer bank is
less evident on the south side of the moat.
South of the moat there is a complex water-management system with at least one
L-shaped fishpond sub-divided into three smaller ponds by earth banks. The
north part of the eastern pond is now infilled but will survive as a buried
feature. These ponds lie some 70m south of the moat and were connected to it
by two channels. Three outlet channels, all now dry, lead from the ponds, two
to the south and one to the west. These survive poorly and lie outside the
area of the scheduling. The ponds are bounded by a continuous external bank
on the south side. In the field to the west of the site, outside the area of
the scheduling are traces of ridge and furrow cultivation, although its
relationship to the moated site is not now clear.
The manor of Hextall was first established by the Norman family, De Hescall,
from whom the name of the manor is derived, but it was abandoned in about
1235. During the reign of Elizabeth I, the manor was occupied by the Eld
Excluded from the scheduling are the late 18th century house, its associated
brick-built garage and outbuildings, the surfaces of the driveway and garden
paths, and the fence posts but the ground beneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

The moated site and fishponds at Hextall Farm, Ranton survive well and
represent a fine example of a combined moat and fishpond water-management

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Johnstone, H, The Victoria History of the County of Staffordshire, (1908), 366

Source: Historic England

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