Ancient Monuments

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Swineyard Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in High Legh, Cheshire East

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.3503 / 53°21'1"N

Longitude: -2.4852 / 2°29'6"W

OS Eastings: 367800.916341

OS Northings: 383825.061686

OS Grid: SJ678838

Mapcode National: GBR CY2P.RQ

Mapcode Global: WH98Z.S1SW

Entry Name: Swineyard Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009585

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13502

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: High Legh

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: High Legh St John

Church of England Diocese: Chester

Details

The monument is the moated site of Swineyard Hall. It includes an island
measuring c.38m square upon which stands Swineyard Hall. Surrounding the
island are three arms of a waterlogged moat preserved as a stone and
brick-lined ornamental pond with a width ranging from 6m across the western
arm to 14m across the eastern arm by 0.4m deep to the water level. The
southern arm has been infilled and a cobbled yard now occupies this area. A
modern timber footbridge gives pedestrian access across the northern arm close
to its north-western corner and replaced a drawbridge known to have existed
until the 1920s. Between the moat's northern arm and Swineyard Lane is an
area of lawn beneath which, at a depth of c.0.5m, are areas of cobbling and
structural foundations.
In the early 14th century the hamlet of Swineyard became the residence of a
branch of the Legh family. Swineyard Hall is late 16th century with 19th-
century additions and is a Listed Building Grade II*.
Swineyard Hall and outbuilding, all service pipes, walls, railings, fences,
telegraph poles, the timber bridge and the yard are excluded from the
scheduling; the ground beneath all these features, however, is included.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Despite infilling of the moat's southern arm the monument remains a good
example of a small medieval moated site. An unusual feature of this site is
the existence of buried remains, thought to be contemporary with earlier
occupation of the moated site, outside the moated enclosure. Evidence of the
earlier hall and drawbridge will lie beneath the present house and upon the
island. Additionally organic material will be preserved in the waterlogged
moat.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
Mrs Houghton (site owner), To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, (1991)
SMR No. 1195/1/1, Cheshire SMR, Swineyard Hall Farmhouse, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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