Ancient Monuments

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Moated site, fishpond and connecting channel, Minshull Vernon

A Scheduled Monument in Minshull Vernon, Cheshire East

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Latitude: 53.1388 / 53°8'19"N

Longitude: -2.4662 / 2°27'58"W

OS Eastings: 368906.873358

OS Northings: 360289.649207

OS Grid: SJ689602

Mapcode National: GBR 7W.67FK

Mapcode Global: WH99Z.2CWJ

Entry Name: Moated site, fishpond and connecting channel, Minshull Vernon

Scheduled Date: 3 June 1981

Last Amended: 17 May 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012077

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13440

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Minshull Vernon

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Leighton cum Minshull Vernon St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument at Minshull Vernon comprises a double moated site of most
unusual form, the island of which was formerly occupied by the manor house.
The site consists of a grass-covered trapezoidal island measuring c.36m x
27m the surface of which shows traces of faint ridge and furrow, surrounded
by a silted inner moat c.6m wide x 1.3m deep. These features lie off-centre
within a polygonal dry outer moat c.14m wide, and the whole is surrounded by
an outer bank. Dry inlet/outlet channels enter the outer moat at the SE
corner and close to the NE corner, while at the SW corner there is a dry
inlet/ outlet channel connecting the outer moat with a D-shaped silted
Most moats were constructed between 1250-1350 and are generally seen as the
prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor. The moat in such
circumstances marked the high status of the owner, but also served to deter
casual raiders and wild animals.
A post and barbed wire fence crossing the NE corner of the monument and a
hedge flanking the S side of the fishpond 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.

The moated site at Minshull Vernon survives in good condition and is a rare
example of a double moated site in Cheshire. The unusual form exhibited by
this site illustrates well the diversity of this class of monument.

Source: Historic England


Capstick, B., FMW report, (1988)
Cheshire SMR no. 245/1,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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