Ancient Monuments

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Bruera moated site and adjacent field system

A Scheduled Monument in Aldford and Saighton, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.1391 / 53°8'20"N

Longitude: -2.8441 / 2°50'38"W

OS Eastings: 343628.543313

OS Northings: 360545.75997

OS Grid: SJ436605

Mapcode National: GBR 7C.6CN2

Mapcode Global: WH88N.8CXC

Entry Name: Bruera moated site and adjacent field system

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 11 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012110

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13442

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Aldford and Saighton

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Aldford St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument at Buerton includes a well preserved moated site with an
extensive complex of contemporary fields.
The moated site consists of a raised island c.65m x 45-55m, the E half
of which is now occupied by two cottages with gardens. In the W half is
a small sewage plant. A dry, well defined moat, 20m max depth x c.1.4m
deep with an outlet channel at its SW corner, exists on all sides but
has been partly infilled on the E where it runs through the cottage
gardens. Well preserved outer banks lie on all but the E side. An
unusual feature at this monument is the rare survival of a large area
around the moat defined by a scarp 0.6m high that formed the associated
fields or closes. Four fields are recognised that contain water
channels, cultivation beds, ridge and furrow. A document of 1430
indicates that a cow-house and an orchard were then located within these
fields. Most moats were constructed between 1250-1350 and it is to this
period that this example is likely to date. The place name Buerton was
first documented c.1220-30 and the moated site was initially the
manorial residence of a branch of the Pulford family. Documentary
evidence of 1430 gives details of the house which comprised a hall
within the main building, an upper room and an adjoining suite of rooms.
Access was by an entrance bridge. The house declined as a residence in
the late 15th century.
The two cottages and associated outbuildings and sewage plant occupying
the island are excluded from the scheduling, as are all telegraph poles,
all fences, and hedged field boundaries. 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.

The monument at Buerton is a rare example in Cheshire of the survival
of a moated site together with an extensive complex of contemporary
fields. In addition the site possesses an unusually well documented
history with details of ownership and information regarding arrangements
of the manor house and associated buildings and land use.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Cheshire Sheaf, (1930)
RCHME, , Moat and Settlement Remains at Bruera, (1986)
Ormerod, G, 'History of Cheshire' in History of Cheshire, , Vol. 3, (1882)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Title: 1st Edition 1"
Source Date: 1842

Source: Historic England

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