Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 300m south east of St Chad's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Wybunbury, Cheshire East

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Latitude: 53.0426 / 53°2'33"N

Longitude: -2.4459 / 2°26'45"W

OS Eastings: 370199.186266

OS Northings: 349575.861214

OS Grid: SJ701495

Mapcode National: GBR 7X.D6DX

Mapcode Global: WH9BC.DSHB

Entry Name: Moated site 300m SE of St Chad's Church

Scheduled Date: 14 November 1969

Last Amended: 17 May 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012107

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13439

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Wybunbury

Built-Up Area: Wybunbury

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Wybunbury St Chad

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument is situated 300m SE of St Chad's Church on low lying land prone
to flooding.
It consists of a slightly raised grass-covered island c.40m square that
rises towards the S and SE. A dry moat 8-9m wide x 0.5m deep surrounds the
island and is best preserved at the SW corner. An outer bank 6.5m max. width
encircles the moat and has outlet channels cut through it at the N and NE
corners and along the SE side. An unusual feature at this site is a long
causeway 6m wide approaching from the NW and flanked by dry ditches and a
low outer bank on the NE. To the immediate SW of this causeway, there are
faint remains of a former fishpond. Access to the interior of the moated
site would have been by a bridge or drawbridge.
A second moated site of similar form lies 200m to the NE. 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 occupier, but also served to deter casual raiders and
wild animals.
A telegraph pole and wooden cable support on the SW outer bank and an
inspection chamber on the SE outer bank 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 monument is in a good state of preservation unencumbered by modern
building. It possesses considerable archaeological potential for the
recovery of evidence of structural foundations of the building that
originally occupied the island. Additionally the embanked access causeway is
a rare and unusual feature associated with this class of monument. Of
particular importance, however, is its close proximity to a second moated
site which also survives well. Such close proximity is unusual for this
class of monument.

Source: Historic England


Capstick, B, FMW Report, (1988)
Cheshire SMR No. 183/2,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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