Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Upton Grange, Upton

A Scheduled Monument in Upton-by-Chester, Cheshire West and Chester

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Latitude: 53.2163 / 53°12'58"N

Longitude: -2.8641 / 2°51'50"W

OS Eastings: 342397.267489

OS Northings: 369150.079366

OS Grid: SJ423691

Mapcode National: GBR 7C.16T5

Mapcode Global: WH887.ZFB5

Entry Name: Moated site at Upton Grange, Upton

Scheduled Date: 6 January 1976

Last Amended: 21 March 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012123

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13415

County: Cheshire West and Chester

Civil Parish: Upton-by-Chester

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Upton The Holy Ascension

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The moated site at Upton Grange comprises much of the island originally
measuring c.115m x 105m together with the surrounding moat which has
been partially infilled on its SW side. That part of the island
overlain by modern domestic and farm buildings is not included.
Moated sites are generally 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. Most moats
were constructed between 1250 and 1350.
The spring fed moat at Upton Grange remains waterfilled at its N and
part of its S sides but is predominantly dry at its E side and is
considerably scrub choked and tree lined throughout. Ridge and furrow
run E-W across the SE part of the island and there are traces of what is
thought to be an internal pond with inlet/outlet channels running E-W
and N-S. Oral tradition claims the moat was once bridged by a timber
structure on its E side but no visible evidence to support this now
All field boundaries, property boundaries and fences are excluded from
the scheduling, however, the ground beneath these features 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.

Much of the moated site at Upton Grange survives well. The moat is well
defined for most of its length and is of high archaeological potential
providing ideal conditions for the survival of organic remains in its
waterlogged and silted stretches. The island will hold evidence of the
internal layout of the site and traces of the bridge noted in oral tradition
may also exist on the E side of the monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Longley, D, The Victoria History of the County of Cheshire, (1980)
Cheshire SMR, RN 1919,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Mr. Dutton, 10-5-1990,

Source: Historic England

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