Ancient Monuments

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Norbury Booths Hall moated site, fishponds and connecting channels.

A Scheduled Monument in Knutsford, Cheshire East

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Latitude: 53.2979 / 53°17'52"N

Longitude: -2.3468 / 2°20'48"W

OS Eastings: 376981.559654

OS Northings: 377935.456352

OS Grid: SJ769779

Mapcode National: GBR DZ19.QJ

Mapcode Global: WH997.XCNM

Entry Name: Norbury Booths Hall moated site, fishponds and connecting channels.

Scheduled Date: 4 June 1981

Last Amended: 29 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011668

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13449

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Knutsford

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Knutsford St Cross

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument at Norbury Booths Hall comprises an elongated D-shaped homestead
moated site surrounded by a waterlogged moat linked to an extensive system of
fishponds and connecting channels.
The monument includes a raised grass-covered island c.100m x 65m used for
pasture. A small excavation in 1973 revealed some five worked stone blocks.
The island is surrounded by a waterlogged moat varying in width from 6-10m.
Access to the island is by a bridge of timber sleepers across the N arm of the
moat. An outer bank c.6-8m wide x 0.3m high exists along the E and SE sides of
the moat. A short dry inlet/outlet channel runs from the SW corner of the moat
into a drain that flows NE to empty into Spring Wood Lake. A silted
rectangular fishpond with an outlet channel connecting with the drain to
Spring Wood Lake lies close to the SW corner of the moated site. A series of
five fishponds, four silted, one waterlogged, lie in woodland some 120m SW of
the moated site and are linked with the drain to Spring Wood Lake by a
waterlogged channel.
Norbury Booths Hall was a timber construction and quadrangular in shape. From
the 14th century to the end of the 17th century the manor descended through
the family of Legh of Booth. This hall was replaced by a new Booths Hall built
c.210m to the W in 1745. However, buildings are known to have occupied the
moated site within living memory and a small excavation in the 1970s found
substantial structural remains of 14th century and Tudor buildings.
All fences, hedges, and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling,
however, the ground beneath 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.

The monument at Norbury Booths Hall survives in good condition and is a rare
and unusual example in Cheshire of an elongated D-shaped moated site
complemented by an extensive system of fishponds. The unusual form exhibited
by this site illustrates well the diversity of this class of monument. In
addition the island has remained unencumbered by modern development and
limited excavation has revealed substantial well preserved structural remains
of two building phases associated with the medieval manor house. Further
archaeological features are likely to exist on the island.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Ormerod, , History of Cheshire, (1882)
Parkinson, H, 'Cheshire Archaeological Bulletin' in Norbury Booths Hall, , Vol. 2, (1974), 20-2
Wilson, D, 'Cheshire Archaeological Bulletin' in Norbury Booths Hall, , Vol. 5, (1977), 39
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
DOE, Buildings of Special Hist & Arch Interest,
PRN 1242/1, Cheshire SMR Norbury Booths Hall,
Wright, D (Asst Admin Off NNC), (1990)

Source: Historic England

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