Ancient Monuments

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Rixton Old Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Rixton-with-Glazebrook, Warrington

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Latitude: 53.4004 / 53°24'1"N

Longitude: -2.4771 / 2°28'37"W

OS Eastings: 368372.176647

OS Northings: 389395.67663

OS Grid: SJ683893

Mapcode National: GBR CY43.HR

Mapcode Global: WH98L.XSLJ

Entry Name: Rixton Old Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 22 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011147

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23640

County: Warrington

Civil Parish: Rixton-with-Glazebrook

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Hollinfare St Helen

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument is Rixton Old Hall medieval moated site. It includes a
sub-rectangular island surrounded by a waterlogged moat. Thirteenth-century
documentary sources indicate that it once formed part of the medieval village
of Rixton. The island's maximum dimensions measure approximately 70m by 55m
and it contains earthworks in its northern half that include two levelled
areas: the larger measuring c.15m by 12m and surrounded on three sides by a
low bank up to 0.3m high and 1m wide; the smaller measuring approximately 8m
square. The surrounding moat has mainly precipitous sides with the water level
approximately 1m below the interior level. It varies in width between 14m-30m
and is widest at the south-eastern corner. Access to the island is by a modern
brick bridge that is thought to be on the site of the original entrance.
The village of Rixton is mentioned in 13th-century documents. Between 1200 and
1332 successive lords of the manor were named Alan de Rixton. In 1384 William
de Rixton sold all his lands in Rixton to Richard de Mascy and the Mascy
family lived at Rixton Hall until the 18th century. The present house lies
immediately to the south of the moat and was constructed in 1822. The extent
and survival of any other remains of the deserted village are not presently
known and hence not included in the scheduling. Excluded from the scheduling
are all fences and gateposts on the island, the modern brick bridge, a modern
sluice close to the moat's north-eastern corner and a wooden jetty at the
south-eastern corner 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 recent cleaning of the moat, which will have removed some of the
waterlogged deposits, Rixton Old Hall moated site survives reasonably well. It
remains a good example of the site of a medieval mansion house, remains
unencumbered by modern development and contains earthwork evidence of the
buildings known to have occupied the site until the 19th century.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Carter, G A, Warrington and the Mid-Mersey Valley, (1971), 55-6
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)
SMR No. 515/1, Cheshire SMR, (1986)
Source Date:
1:2500 Map
To Robinson,K.D. (MPPFW), Berry, K. (Owners company director), (1993)

Source: Historic England

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