Ancient Monuments

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Lea Head moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Maer, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 52.9758 / 52°58'32"N

Longitude: -2.3737 / 2°22'25"W

OS Eastings: 375002.635043

OS Northings: 342111.43104

OS Grid: SJ750421

Mapcode National: GBR 7Z.JKYH

Mapcode Global: WH9BS.HGWK

Entry Name: Lea Head moated site

Scheduled Date: 19 December 1968

Last Amended: 21 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011892

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13465

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Maer

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Woore St Leonard

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument comprises a moated site situated in a shallow valley and includes
an island surrounded by a stream-fed waterlogged moat. The grass covered
island measures c.41m x 23m, contains a few trees, and projects out of the
valley slope towards the stream. The surrounding moat is c.9-12m wide x 1.5m
deep and is supplied by short channels at the N and W corners connecting with
a stream flowing parallel to the moat's NW arm but separated from the moat by
an outer bank c.12m max. width. Access to the island is via a stone revetted
causeway on the SE arm.
Lea Head moated site is unexcavated and, although no structural remains are
visible, is seen as the precursor of the present Lea Head Manor built c.1671
some 70m to the SE. All fences are excluded from the scheduling, although 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 survives well, its earthworks being particularly evident. The
site remains unencumbered by modern development and will retain considerable
archaeological evidence of structural foundations associated with the building
which occupied the island until c.1671.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
PRN No. 185, Lea Head, Maer,
Snowdon, C A, AM 107, (1982)

Source: Historic England

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