Ancient Monuments

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Hay House moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Dunston, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.751 / 52°45'3"N

Longitude: -2.1376 / 2°8'15"W

OS Eastings: 390809.052208

OS Northings: 317050.04024

OS Grid: SJ908170

Mapcode National: GBR 17H.DDT

Mapcode Global: WHBF6.43CV

Entry Name: Hay House moated site

Scheduled Date: 8 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011055

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21518

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Dunston

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Penkridge St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes the moated site at Hay House and is located in an
isolated context on gently undulating ground in the parish of Dunston. It is
partly occupied by a brick-built farmhouse, which is a Grade II listed
building, and its associated agricultural buildings. In 1956 the Ministry of
Agricuture, Fisheries and Food requested that the moat be infilled to reduce
the danger to dairy cattle. The moat was infilled using imported household
refuse but will survive as a buried feature. The north-western arm of the moat
remains visible on the ground surface as a slight depression on a NE-SW axis.
Estate maps dating to 1828 and 1875 provide good evidence for the original
layout of the moated site. The moat, which was approximately 10m wide,
surrounded a single rectangular island which measured approximately 60m NE-SW
and 50m NW-SE. In 1828 the moat was waterfilled on three sides though the
north-eastern arm was dry. There is a small waterfilled pond to the south-west
of the moated site which has not been included in the scheduling.
The lands in Penkridge called 'le Heyhouse' were part of the possessions of
Penkridge College at the time of the Dissolution in 1547. The lands had been
assigned for the support of the two resident canons and were leased to Edward
Harte. By 1585 the messuage called the Hay House had passed to the Fowlke
family who sold it a year later to Edward Littleton of Pillaton Hall,
Excluded from the scheduling are the farmhouse which is a Grade II listed
building, the associated outbuildings, all fence posts and the surfaces of all
the farm tracks and garden paths but the ground beneath all these features is

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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.

Although only partly visible on the ground, the moated site at Hay House is
largely unencumbered by modern development. The circumstances surrounding the
backfilling of the moat ditches mean that they will survive in good condition
as buried features and retain archaeological deposits which will be of value
in understanding the environment and the economy of the medieval
occupants. The original moated island will retain considerable artefactual and
structural information of the house that originally occupied it. The monument
also has good documentation referring to its history as a prebendal manor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Greenslade, M W, The Victoria History of the County of Staffordshire, (1959), 124
Hammer, M E, 'Staffordshire Archaeology' in The Moated Sites of Staffordshire, , Vol. 3, (1974), 36
Title: The Littleton Estate Map-Dunston
Source Date: 1828

Source: Historic England

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