Ancient Monuments

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Speke Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Speke-Garston, Liverpool

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Latitude: 53.3367 / 53°20'12"N

Longitude: -2.8743 / 2°52'27"W

OS Eastings: 341879.722175

OS Northings: 382559.666792

OS Grid: SJ418825

Mapcode National: GBR 8YCV.JL

Mapcode Global: WH87N.TDHB

Entry Name: Speke Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 28 November 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011887

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13481

County: Liverpool

Electoral Ward/Division: Speke-Garston

Built-Up Area: Liverpool

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Speke St Aidan

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument is the moated site of Speke Hall, Merseyside's finest Tudor
building. The site includes an island originally some 65m square and
predominantly occupied by Speke Hall, a large timber-framed structure on a
stone base constructed around a courtyard. Surrounding the island is a moat,
now dry and much altered by landscaping, but still extant on all sides except
the SE. In its present form the moat is some 30m max. width x 2.5m
max. depth.
The N and E arms of the moat are crossed by sandstone bridges.
The earliest documentary evidence for Speke Hall is 1314. The hall was formed
into a quadrangular manor house during the 14th century and completely rebuilt
between 1490-1598. The N bridge was added c.1568. The house was owned by the
Norris family for much of its history and there is ample documentation, both
medieval and post-medieval, relating to the household and contents.
Speke Hall is a Listed Building Grade I. Both the N and E bridges are Listed
Buildings Grade II.
Speke Hall, its associated outbuildings and all service pipes; both bridges;
all paths, walls, hedges and fences; and a sewage system in the infilled SE
arm of the moat, are all excluded from the scheduling. The ground beneath all
these features, however, is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Speke Hall moated site is commonly regarded as containing one of the best
examples of late medieval/early post medieval timber-framed houses in the
country. The site has been constantly occupied for almost 700 years and will
retain considerable archaeological evidence of earlier building phases of
Speke Hall beneath the present structure. Additionally the monument will
retain evidence for the extent of the original moat now infilled beneath the
lawn SE of the Hall.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Chandler, G, Liverpool, (1957)
Chandler, G, Liverpool, (1957)
Chandler, G, Liverpool, (1957)
Norris, EJ, The Building of Speke Hall, (1935)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
Nicholson, S. Merseyside SMR, To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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