Ancient Monuments

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Old Hall Heys moated site

A Scheduled Monument in No Man's Heath and District, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.0372 / 53°2'14"N

Longitude: -2.7561 / 2°45'21"W

OS Eastings: 349398.653779

OS Northings: 349151.727387

OS Grid: SJ493491

Mapcode National: GBR 7H.DP1N

Mapcode Global: WH892.MXSG

Entry Name: Old Hall Heys moated site

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 11 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012101

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13443

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: No Man's Heath and District

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Malpas St Oswald

Church of England Diocese: Chester


Old Hall Heys comprises a small homestead moated site additionally
enclosed on two sides by an outer moat. The monument consists of a
raised grass covered island 38m x 43m containing a low mound at both the
NW and SW corners and faint surface traces of ridge and furrow. The
island is surrounded on all sides by a dry moat 10-12m wide and up to 2m
deep. A dry outer moat 10m max. width x 0.6m deep runs along the W and
SW sides and is separated from the inner moat by a bank 6m wide x 0.6m
high. A natural spring that originally fed the moat lies at the N end
of the outer moat in a swampy triangular depression. An outer bank
flanks the N side of the moat and continues around the W and SW sides
flanking the outer moat. The monument is situated in a field known as
Hall Heys from late medieval documents. Local tradition claims that
it is the site of the original house of the Dods of Edge, although it is
not certain that this family did hold it before 1600.
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.
Two telegraph poles and fencing surrounding the spring are excluded
from the scheduling as is the buried Vyrnwy Aqueduct pipeline that
crosses the SE corner of the moat. The ground beneath all 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.

Old Hall Heys moated site survives in good condition and is a rare
example in Cheshire of a small homestead moat that is double moated on
two sides. The unusual form exhibited by this site illustrates well the
diversity of this class of monument.

Source: Historic England


Capstick, B., FMW Report, (1987)
Cheshire SMR No. 1680,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Mr Wolley Dod (Site owner), (1986)

Source: Historic England

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