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Crosland Lower Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Meltham, Kirklees

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.6071 / 53°36'25"N

Longitude: -1.8209 / 1°49'15"W

OS Eastings: 411948.8591

OS Northings: 412292.308828

OS Grid: SE119122

Mapcode National: GBR HVQQ.LP

Mapcode Global: WHCB7.0L6M

Entry Name: Crosland Lower Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 13 October 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013896

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13286

County: Kirklees

Civil Parish: Meltham

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: South Crosland Holy Trinity

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

Details

Crosland Lower Hall moat is situated west of Hall Dyke adjacent to Lower Hall
Farm. The monument includes the site of a moated house and the drain
connecting the moat to Hall Dyke. Further remains survive in the pasture
fields to the south and east and include a nineteenth century mill-race and
earthworks representing the sites of buildings and enclosures. The
relationship between these features and the moat is not yet fully understood
and so they have not been included in the scheduling.

The moated site includes a small, roughly square platform surrounded by a
filled-in moat partially enclosed by a counterscarp bank. The platform is
currently occupied by a nineteenth century farm-cottage and barn, the latter
incorporating at least one socketed timber from an earlier building on the
same site. A lane borders the north-west perimeter of the site and may overlie
part of it.

Although the monument is no longer visually impressive, partial excavations
carried out between 1977 and 1978 by the Huddersfield and District
Archaeological Society have established that a well-preserved stone-lined moat
survives beneath the ditch fill. In addition, a stake hole found in a trench
excavated inside the barn indicates that the remains of timber features and
structures survive on the platform. Other trenches have established the
locations of the west and south corners of the island, the entrance on the
north-west side and the extent of the island to the north-east. A trench
excavated across the moat on the south-east side demonstrated that, at some
point, the site was altered by extending the island into the moat.

It appears that material predating this alteration was cleared out of the moat
at this time, since the pottery recovered from the trench has been dated to no
earlier than the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries whereas, elsewhere on
the site, twelfth and thirteenth century pottery has been found. This suggests
that the modifications were carried out in the 1400s, possibly in connection
with the building of a new hall. The moat appears to have been c.9m wide and
to have been fed by drainage from the hillside to the west. According to
tradition, the site became too wet to be habitable and the owners moved to the
present location of Crosland Hall, upslope to the west; hence the name Lower
Hall. A drain extends from the east corner as far as Hall Dyke and survives
primarily as a buried feature. Recently, the mouth of a stone-lined drain was
uncovered c.3m south of the corner of the moat and is believed to be broadly
contemporary with it. Nearby, brick foundations of probable eighteenth or
nineteenth century date were also exposed and may relate to the later mill-
race.

Limited documentary evidence regarding the monument includes the ballad
describing the `Elland Feud', which refers to the hall in existence in 1341,
and two maps of the area dating to 1695 and 1720. The latter, compiled by John
Warburton, shows a two-gabled building and suggests that an earlier hall was
replaced in the Elizabethan period. The later house appears to have been
demolished by 1789 since it is not marked on the map of Huddersfield and
District compiled at that time. The fourteenth century hall was the home of
the Beaumont family of Crosland and was, according to tradition, the setting
for the murder of Sir Robert de Beaumont by Sir John de Eland (sic.) in
c.1341. The pottery evidence from the site indicates that a hall was in
existence prior to this and may date to c.1166 when Ralph de Cridling is
recorded as holding lands in Croslandfosse or South Crosland from his lord,
Roger de Lacy. This suggests that at least three dwellings have stood on the
island, excluding the current farmhouse. Stone foundations observed in 1868
within the bank surrounding the moat indicate that, in at least one phase, the
hall was enclosed by a wall c.1m thick. The island is roughly 30m square and
so was probably only ever occupied by a dwelling and its outbuildings, just as
it is at present. The wider manorial complex of barns, granaries, workshops
and enclosures would have lain in the surrounding area and it is likely that
the earthworks in the adjacent fields may represent the remains of some of
these, though it is also possible that they relate to nineteenth century
activities. Local tradition also indicates the existence of a triangular
fishpond, though the location of this is currently unknown.

The farm buildings and the cottage on the site are excluded from the
scheduling. The ground beneath the cottage is also excluded as the
construction of cellars has destroyed the archaeological remains here. Also
excluded are the garden fixtures associated with the adjacent vegetable plot
which overlies the drain leading from the moat to Hall Dyke. The ground
underneath these features is, however, included as is the ground beneath the
buildings other than the cottage on the island.

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.

Although Crosland Lower Hall moat has been partially destroyed by modern
cellar construction, the larger part of the monument is undisturbed and trial
excavations have shown that archaeological remains survive both well and
extensively.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Ahier, P, The History and Topography of South Crosland....part I, (1938)
Michelmore, DJH, West Yorkshire: an Archaeological Survey to AD 1500, (1981)
Le Patourel, H E J, 'Medieval Archaeology Monograph no.5' in Moated Sites of Yorkshire, (1973)
Other
Huddersfield & District Arch. Society, Spence, B, (1992)
Huddersfield and District Arch Society,
Map of the district, Warburton, John, (1720)
Title: Map of Huddersfield and District
Source Date: 1789
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Title: Map of West Riding
Source Date: 1695
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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