Ancient Monuments

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Hough Hall moated site, ancillary enclosure and fishpond

A Scheduled Monument in Mere, Cheshire East

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Latitude: 53.3463 / 53°20'46"N

Longitude: -2.4196 / 2°25'10"W

OS Eastings: 372164.135609

OS Northings: 383348.529983

OS Grid: SJ721833

Mapcode National: GBR CYJR.Z5

Mapcode Global: WH990.T40Z

Entry Name: Hough Hall moated site, ancillary enclosure and fishpond

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011884

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13478

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Mere

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Rostherne St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument is the moated site of Hough Hall and includes a grassy
island c.30m square surrounded on three sides by a dry moat c.15m wide x 1.5m
deep except on the NW side where the bed of a now infilled stream has been
widened to make a shallow moat c.30m wide that remains boggy. A grassy outer
bank 9m wide x 0.6m high flanks the NE arm and was originally a dam designed
to raise the water level to flood the moat. A waterlogged pond or marl pit
has been cut into the bank's E end. To the SW of the moat lies an
irregularly-shaped grassy, boggy area with maximum measurements of 45m x 21m
that is the site of a former fishpond now partially drained and infilled.
Adjacent to the moat's SW arm is a grassy ancillary enclosure measuring c.40m
x 70m that is crossed by a grassy track running from Hulseheath Lane to the
The moated site was constructed some time before 1350. Limited excavations on
the island revealed pits pre-dating the moated site, above which were found
the structural remains of a complex group of buildings occupying a moated
messuage of high status that was abandoned by 1500. The ancillary-enclosure
contained cottages and gardens reached by the track from Hulseheath Lane.
These buildings had been demolished by 1870.
All field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground
beneath them 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 is unencumbered by modern development and will possess further
archaeological evidence of Hough Hall and its associated buildings together
with further evidence of activity pre-dating construction of the moated site.
Additionally, future archaeological investigation will be able to examine
further the relationship between the moated site and the structures known to
have existed within the ancillary enclosure.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Garbutt, A, Hough Hall Moated Site, Bucklow Hill, Cheshire, (1986)
Higham, N J , Hough Hall: The Trial Excavation of a Moated Platform in Mere, (1988)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
Title: "Hill Sketch" Map
Source Date: 1839

Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 County Series Map
Source Date: 1876

Title: Tithe Map
Source Date: 1841

Source: Historic England

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