Ancient Monuments

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Huntington Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Huntington, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.1651 / 53°9'54"N

Longitude: -2.8695 / 2°52'10"W

OS Eastings: 341965.872282

OS Northings: 363467.070846

OS Grid: SJ419634

Mapcode National: GBR 7B.4RGD

Mapcode Global: WH88F.WPRW

Entry Name: Huntington Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 3 December 1951

Last Amended: 19 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012112

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13416

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Huntington

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Bruera St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The moated site at Huntington Hall comprises a large slightly
irregularly shaped moat 10m wide x 2m deep surrounding a rectangular
island 165m E-W x 110m N-S internally subdivided into four enclosures.
Most moats were constructed between 1250-1350 and are general seen as
the prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor. The moat marked
the high status of the occupier but also served to deter casual raiders
and wild animals. The moat is waterlogged along most of its S arm and
the S half of its E arm with the remainder being dry or
waterlogged/silted and choked with vegetation. It drains through outlet
channels at the NW and SW corners. An outer bank encircles the moat
apart from the SE where landscaping has been undertaken. Access to the
island is via a sandstone bridge and a causeway, (both included in the
scheduling), both of which lead into the E enclosure. Two dry ditches
running N - S divide the island into enclosures with the W enclosure
containing three waterfilled fishponds complete with dams and outlet
channels. The central enclosure is further divided by a dry E-W ditch
linking the N-S ditches.
In medieval times the site was owned by the church and was referred to
in 1348 as `the grange of the abbot of Chester at Huntington'.
All fences and hedges surrounding the monument 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 Huntington Hall survives relatively undamaged and is
therefore of high archaeological potential. The waterlogged fishponds
and the waterlogged and silted moat provide ideal conditions for the
survival of organic remains while the interior will hold evidence of the
organisation and development of the original Huntington Hall.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Longley, D, The Victoria History of the County of Cheshire, (1980)
Cheshire SMR RN 1944/1/2,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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