Ancient Monuments

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Chorley Old Hall moated site and four fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Alderley Edge, Cheshire East

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Latitude: 53.2997 / 53°17'58"N

Longitude: -2.2453 / 2°14'42"W

OS Eastings: 383750.791989

OS Northings: 378107.819562

OS Grid: SJ837781

Mapcode National: GBR DZR8.PW

Mapcode Global: WHBBF.HB17

Entry Name: Chorley Old Hall moated site and four fishponds

Scheduled Date: 4 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009562

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13497

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Alderley Edge

Built-Up Area: Wilmslow

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Alderley Edge St Philip and St James

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument is the medieval moated site of Chorley Old Hall, the oldest
inhabited country house in Cheshire. It includes an island measuring c.70m x
54m that contains Chorley Old Hall and numerous low earthworks. Surrounding
the island is a waterlogged moat averaging 12m wide x 1.3m deep to the water
level. At the northwestern corner, however, the moat's width has been
increased to c.30m and there are two small ornamental islands. A recently
improved outlet channel connects with a stream to the west. Access to the
island is by a two arched sandstone bridge across the northern arm. An outer
bank, 9-11m wide x 0.4m high, flanks the eastern arm and the eastern half of
the northern arm. South of the moat is a set of waterlogged fishponds. The
westernmost is of sub-rectangular form measuring c.9m x 8m. It connects via a
short channel to an L-shaped pond that is fed from a stream by a recently
improved inlet channel entering at its southwestern corner. This pond
measures c.40m north-south x 30m east-west. A recently improved outlet
channel issues from its northwestern corner to flow over an ornamental
waterfall and enter the moat at the southwestern corner. A third fishpond,
c.16m x 12m, lies to the east and connects with the L-shaped pond via a short
channel. Further to the south is a dry fishpond c.17m x 6.5m x 0.8m deep that
possesses an outlet channel into a stream on its south side.
Chorley Old Hall was constructed c.1330 by Robert de Chorley. By 1523 the
Davenports owned the house and during the mid 16th century constructed a
half-timbered house adjoining the existing building's northwestern corner.
Ownership passed to the Stanleys in the early 17th century who undertook
alterations c.1640 and constructed the bridge. The two houses were joined by
a brick link in the late 18th/early 19th century. In 1915 the house was fully
restored and further renovations occurred in 1975.
Chorley Old Hall is a Listed Building Grade I. The bridge is a Listed
Building Grade II.
Chorley Old Hall, all service pipes, all flagged and cobbled areas, all walls
and fences, the bridge, garages, greenhouse, shed and the two ornamental
islands are all excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath all these
features is included. All recently modified inlet and outlet channels are
also excluded from the scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

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.

Chorley Old Hall is the oldest inhabited country house in Cheshire. The
monument has never been excavated and the moated site and fishponds survive
particularly well. The island will contain evidence of the buildings which
formerly occupied it and the waterlogged fishponds and moat will preserve
organic material.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
De Figueiredo, P, Treuherz, J, Cheshire Country Houses, (1988)
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
Moated Sites Research Group Record Card, (1973)
Mr Brindle (Site owner), To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, (1991)
SJ87 NW7, Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Record Card, (1964)

Source: Historic England

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