Ancient Monuments

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Darley Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Little Budworth, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.174 / 53°10'26"N

Longitude: -2.5891 / 2°35'20"W

OS Eastings: 360719.774734

OS Northings: 364264.140251

OS Grid: SJ607642

Mapcode National: GBR 7Q.41LW

Mapcode Global: WH99Q.6HC2

Entry Name: Darley Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 31 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011145

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23638

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Little Budworth

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Over St Chad

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument is Darley Hall medieval moated site. It includes a rectangular
island, measuring approximately 65m by 54m, which has a low flat platform in
its eastern quadrant. The island is surrounded by a waterlogged moat 1m deep
to the water level on all sides except the south-east, where only a fragment
remains close to the southern corner, the remainder having been infilled. The
moat's south-western and north-western arms measure 13m-18m in width and the
wider north-eastern arm measures up to 34m.
The 1695 estate map of Oulton Lowe (Darley demesne) shows the island
completely surrounded by the moat with access across the moat's south-eastern
arm. Darley Hall is depicted occupying the island and there are various
outbuildings to the south-east of the moat. It is thought that the island was
abandoned soon after this date when the present Darley Hall was built on the
site of the outbuildings depicted on the estate map.
All service pipes, outbuildings, telegraph poles, fences, gateposts, paths,
concrete and gravel areas are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground
beneath all these features 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.

Despite infilling of much of the moat's south-eastern arm and recent cleaning
of the remainder of the moat, which will have removed some of the waterlogged
deposits, Darley Hall moated site survives reasonably well. It remains a good
example of the site of a medieval mansion house and will contain evidence of
the buildings known to have occupied the island until the late 17th/early 18th

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
In possession of SMR. Ref No. 812, George, KP, Pool Places including mill site E of Darley Hall, (1993)
SMR No. 812, Cheshire SMR, Darley Hall, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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