Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Foxtwist moated site, two fishponds and connecting channels

A Scheduled Monument in Prestbury, Cheshire East

We don't have any photos of this monument yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 53.3151 / 53°18'54"N

Longitude: -2.1567 / 2°9'24"W

OS Eastings: 389654.873487

OS Northings: 379806.797295

OS Grid: SJ896798

Mapcode National: GBR FZC3.WB

Mapcode Global: WHBB8.VX5Y

Entry Name: Foxtwist moated site, two fishponds and connecting channels

Scheduled Date: 5 April 1977

Last Amended: 29 October 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011864

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13448

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Prestbury

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Prestbury St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument at Foxtwist comprises a small homestead moated site, additionally
enclosed on three sides by an outer moat, and also adjacent fishponds and
connecting channels. The monument includes a raised grass covered island
c.31m x 18m possessing faint traces of the foundations of a cottage and the
remains of a small orchard. Surrounding the island is an inner moat c.6m wide
x 2m deep, waterlogged on the W side where it has formed a pond. Access to
the island is from the SW via a well made causeway 3m wide with flanking
A dry outer moat extends around the NW, N and E sides and was fed by a
waterlogged pond on higher ground some 90m to the E linked by a channel now
much reduced by ploughing. A dry channel, now utilised as a modern field
boundary, runs NE-SW adjacent to the E side of the inner moat. Close to the
SE corner of the inner moat this channel broadens and deepens and continues S
for some 85m before turning W to link with a dry rectangular fishpond c.47m x
12m x 1m deep.
William de Foxwist lived in the manor house at the site in the early 13th
century. This was dismantled in 1357 and re-erected in Macclesfield where it
served as the Market Hall. A new structure was erected on the moated site and
this passed by marriage to the Duncalf family, eventually being sold to the
Leghs of Adlington in 1609 who have owned the site ever since. By the end of
the 17th century a small cottage had been built on the site. This building
was demolished c.1920.
All field boundaries and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling.
The ground beneath these features, however, 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.

Foxtwist moated site survives in good condition and possesses a range of
component parts. The site is a rare example in Cheshire of a small homestead
moat that is double moated on three sides, and the unusual form exhibited by
this site illustrates well the diversity of this class of monument.

Source: Historic England


Capstick, B., FMW Report, (1987)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1987)
SMR No. 1430/1, Foxtwist Moated Site,

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.