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Moated site of Clayton Hall, adjacent fishponds and channels

A Scheduled Monument in Clayton-le-Woods, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.6931 / 53°41'35"N

Longitude: -2.6607 / 2°39'38"W

OS Eastings: 356467.811442

OS Northings: 422054.707101

OS Grid: SD564220

Mapcode National: GBR 9TVQ.RV

Mapcode Global: WH975.3F8M

Entry Name: Moated site of Clayton Hall, adjacent fishponds and channels

Scheduled Date: 2 March 1978

Last Amended: 16 April 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012313

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13409

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Clayton-le-Woods

Built-Up Area: Leyland

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Leyland St Ambrose

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn


The monument at Clayton Hall consists of the demolished remains of the
17th century hall with a well preserved moat to the N and NE.
Moated sites 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. The moat at Clayton Hall is waterfilled at its N and NE sides.
A wide causeway, consisting of dumped rubble, crosses the moat at its NW
corner. The W side of the moat is silted and partially rubble filled. A
slight hollow indicates the infilled moat at the SE side but there are
now no surface remains of the S limits of the monument.
A fishpond and outlet stream flowing into the moat exists to the N of
the moat and a second fishpond with inlet and outlet channels lies
adjacent to the W of the moat. Being stocked with fish and encouraging
fowl, fishponds provided a valuable food source.
All fencing, which on the south and east forms the perimeter of the
monument, is excluded from the scheduling as is the gravel path to the N
of the moat. However, the land beneath the gravel path is included in
the scheduling.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

A fishpond is one or more artifically created pools of slow moving fresh
water constructed for the purpose of, breeding, and/or storing fish.
Water enters and leaves ponds by means of a series of channels and
leats, the flow of water being controlled by one or more sluices
and overflow channels. The tradition of constructing and using fishponds in
England appears to have begun during the medieval period, with the
impetus coming from the monastic institutions. The difficulties of
obtaining fresh meat in winter may have been one of the factors which
favoured development of fishponds and made them so valuable. The 12th
century was probably the high-point of fish farming in England. After
the Dissolution the practice declined, although in some areas it was
still taken seriously in the 17th century. Surviving fishponds are
important indicators of a specific medieval method of food production.
Of particular importance, in sites still waterlogged, are organic
remains which, amongst other things may include fish remains, thus
allowing analysis of the species formerly farmed.
The moated site at Clayton Hall survives well and includes features
which illustrate clearly the water management system. The continued
waterlogging of the moat and the adjacent ponds and inlet/outlet
channels provides conditions for the survival of organic remains. The
island contains the remains of recently demolished 17th century Clayton
Hall and it is probable that buried remains of an earlier building known
to have occupied the island will also survive.

Source: Historic England


9-8-1988, Capstick, B, FMW Report re Clayton Hall, (1988)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
SMR Record (PRN 1486),

Source: Historic England

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