Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Moated site north-west of Broadoak Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Marple South, Stockport

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Latitude: 53.3851 / 53°23'6"N

Longitude: -2.0924 / 2°5'32"W

OS Eastings: 393949.262017

OS Northings: 387591.164646

OS Grid: SJ939875

Mapcode National: GBR FYT9.S7

Mapcode Global: WHBB3.T5SQ

Entry Name: Moated site north-west of Broadoak Farm

Scheduled Date: 5 December 1980

Last Amended: 9 March 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009864

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13520

County: Stockport

Electoral Ward/Division: Marple South

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Norbury St Thomas

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument is the moated site north-west of Broadoak Farm, also known as
Torkington Moat. The site includes a raised island measuring some 46m by 43m
that is surrounded by a waterlogged moat varying between 8m and 20m wide and
1.6m deep to the water level. Access to the island is by a modern wooden
bridge situated at the mid-point of the southeastern arm where the moat is at
its narrowest.
The Torkington family were first mentioned in documents dating to c.1200. A
manor house existed in Torkington by 1350. Further reference to a manor house
at Torkington is found in the Chester Forestry Proceedings of 1363. This
states that John de Legh cleared woodland prior to constructing a manor house
consisting of two chambers and a kitchen surrounded by a moat. The house was
abandoned around the beginning of the 16th century. Torkington Hall was
constructed on the moated site during the early 17th century.
Limited excavation on the island identified three phases of activity, all
involving timber structures. Artefacts found included medieval pottery, 14th
or 15th century roof tiles, and post-medieval clay pipes, pottery and nails.
The wooden bridge, all fences, cabins, angling stations and service pipes are
excluded from the scheduling. The ground beneath all these features, however,
is included.

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.

The monument survives well and remains largely unencumbered by modern
development. Limited excavation on the island has revealed artefacts and
structural remains dating from the 14th to the 18th centuries and further
evidence of the medieval and post-medieval buildings will survive.
Additionally organic material will be preserved within the waterlogged moat.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Yendley, C, Broad Oak Moat Torkington, (1983)
Price, J V, 'Country Houses of Greater Manchester' in Country Houses of Greater Manchester, , Vol. 2, (1985)
Pagination 5, Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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