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Holford Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Plumley, Cheshire East

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2748 / 53°16'29"N

Longitude: -2.4377 / 2°26'15"W

OS Eastings: 370905.442487

OS Northings: 375401.910936

OS Grid: SJ709754

Mapcode National: GBR CZFK.1S

Mapcode Global: WH996.JYDB

Entry Name: Holford Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 16 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012413

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13498

County: Cheshire East

Civil Parish: Plumley

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Lower or Nether Peover St Oswald

Church of England Diocese: Chester

Details

The monument is the moated site of Holford Hall. It includes an island
measuring c.100m x 80m. Holford Hall, a garage and access drive occupy the
northern quadrant of the island. Surrounding the island on all sides except
the southwest is a waterlogged moat c.20m wide x 1.5m deep to the water level.
Access to the island is by a 17th-century sandstone bridge across the
north-eastern arm and by a causeway across the south-eastern arm.
The present house is a fragment of a much larger timber house consisting of
three sides of a quadrangle that was rebuilt in the early 17th century for
Mary Cholmondeley, heiress of Christopher Holford of Holford. The south wing
collapsed and was demolished in 1844. The north wing was demolished during
the 1880s. Photographs of the north wing show it to have been earlier than
what survives and limited archaeological excavation in 1990 revealed
foundation stones set in clay. The moat's south-western arm was infilled this
century but its location is marked by a change in the vegetation cover. A
chapel survived on the island until the 1920s/30s.
Holford Hall is a Listed Building Grade II*. The bridge is a Listed Building
Grade II.
Holford Hall and all service pipes, field boundaries and telegraph poles, the
driveway, garage, bridge and a 2m wide strip of farmtrack at the moat's north-
eastern corner are all excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath
all these features is included. The area of the existing Victorian brick
addition to the hall, both above and below ground, and the area between it and
the adjacent garage are totally excluded from the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT
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.

Holford Hall moated site survives well and despite infilling of the moat's
southwestern arm remains otherwise unencumbered by modern development.
Limited excavation on the island has revealed foundations of the hall's
medieval north wing and further evidence of both the house and chapel
demolished during the early 20th century will survive. Additionally the
waterlogged moat will preserve organic material.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
De Figueiredo, P, Treuherz, J, Cheshire Country Houses, (1988), 242-3
'Trans Lancs and Ches Arch Soc' in Trans Lancs and Ches Arch Soc, , Vol. 44, (1927), 112-3
Other
1235/1/1, Cheshire SMR, Holford Hall, (1990)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
Gifford and Partners, Assess of Arch Deposits in Trial Area at Holford Hall, Plumley, (1990)
To Robinson, K D MPPFW, Mrs Phillips (Site Owner), (1991)

Source: Historic England

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