Ancient Monuments

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Pillaton Old Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Penkridge, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.714 / 52°42'50"N

Longitude: -2.0858 / 2°5'8"W

OS Eastings: 394300.890879

OS Northings: 312926.787656

OS Grid: SJ943129

Mapcode National: GBR 298.TRL

Mapcode Global: WHBFD.X1YQ

Entry Name: Pillaton Old Hall

Scheduled Date: 9 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011061

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21526

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Penkridge

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Penkridge St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


Pillaton Old Hall moated site is situated in an isolated context within a wide
valley, 180m south of Pillaton Hall Farm. The Old Hall, which is partly in use
as a dwelling and is partly ruined, originally stood within a waterfilled moat
and, although the moat has been drained since 1860 and is now mostly filled
in, it is still visible in places as a slight depression in the ground surface
and it survives intact as a buried feature. Estate maps dating to 1754 and
1828 provide evidence for the layout of the moated site. The moat was
semi-circular at its southern extent and approximately 10m wide on the west,
east and south sides of the site. The northern arm of the moat was
approximately 32m wide at its widest. There is a single, segmental-arched
bridge across the infilled northern section of the moat. It is built of ashlar
and red brick, with a coped parapet, and is largely 18th century in date. The
bridge is a Grade II listed building and is included within the scheduling.
The island is slightly raised above the surrounding ground surface and
measures 60m north-south and 34m west-east. A retaining wall is visible on the
eastern and northern edges of the island. The four ranges of buildings of
Pillaton Old Hall originally formed a quadrangle around a central open
courtyard and were situated at the northern end of the moated island.
Upstanding remains of the east and south ranges include an early 16th-century
rectangular chimney stack. It is built of red brick with a stone plinth and
survives to a height of approximately 6m. There is a blocked fireplace on the
west side of the stack. The chimney stack is a Grade II listed building and is
included within the scheduling. The northern range, which has been restored,
is now occupied and is excluded from the scheduling. It is built of brick and
includes a 16th-century gatehouse with four centred arches and turrets of the
early 18th century. It is a Grade II* listed building. East of the gatehouse
is the stone-built chapel dedicated to St Modwena which was built c.1480. The
chapel was restored in the 19th century. It remains in ecclesiastical use and
is not included in the scheduling.
The manor of Pillaton was held by Burton Abbey. From at least the early 16th
century Pillaton Old Hall was owned by the Littleton family. By 1740 the
Littleton family had moved to Teddesley and the house at Pillaton was largely
demolished. A drawing of Pillaton Old Hall in about 1798 by Stebbing Shaw
indicates that only the north range and a number of large chimney stacks from
the other ranges remained standing by this date.
Excluded from the scheduling are the restored north range of Pillaton Old
Hall, St Modwena's Chapel, the recently-built brick west range, the
ornamental pools to the north and east of the island, the wall on the western
edge of the site, all fence posts and the surfaces of the paths and driveways
within the site but the ground beneath all these features is included in the

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.

Pillaton Old Hall is a good example of a moated site with major contemporary
buildings standing above ground. The moated island will retain important
structural and artefactual evidence for the other buildings known to have
occupied the island and the infilled ditches will retain information regarding
the environment and economy of its inhabitants. The importance of the site is
enhanced by good documentary records and detailed map evidence.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Salter, M, Castles and Moated Mansions of Staffordshire and West Midlands, (1989), 43
Tidesley, J C, The History of Penkridge63-66
Hammer, M E, 'Staffordshire Archaeology' in The Moated Sites of Staffordshire, , Vol. 3, (1974), 37
Shaw, S, Unpublished Drawings - The Old Ruins of Pillaton Hall, 1798,
Title: Hatherton Atlas- Pillaton Old Hall
Source Date: 1754

Title: Littleton Estate Map
Source Date: 1828

Source: Historic England

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