Ancient Monuments

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Lovel's Hall moated site and fishpond, Widnes

A Scheduled Monument in Ditton, Halton

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Latitude: 53.3573 / 53°21'26"N

Longitude: -2.7846 / 2°47'4"W

OS Eastings: 347873.972272

OS Northings: 384781.737009

OS Grid: SJ478847

Mapcode National: GBR 8YZM.X6

Mapcode Global: WH87J.6W72

Entry Name: Lovel's Hall moated site and fishpond, Widnes

Scheduled Date: 8 January 1971

Last Amended: 7 August 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014390

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13435

County: Halton

Electoral Ward/Division: Ditton

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: St Mary Hale

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument comprises a moated site formerly occupied by Lovel's Hall, said
to be the residence of Francis Lovel, who was created Viscount Lovel by
Richard III in 1483.
Lovel's Hall moated site consists of a mainly grassy platform c.50m square
surrounded by a dry moat up to c.23m wide x 1.6m deep. On the east side a
rectangular extension of the moat measuring c.15m long x 8m wide x 1m deep
is interpreted as a fishpond. A low bank 0.1m high x 1m wide crosses the
platform from west-east and is thought to represent a former field boundary.
Most moats were constructed between 1250-1350 and 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 fence running north-south across the west half of the monument is excluded
from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath the fence 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.

Lovel's Hall moated site remains in relatively undamaged condition and
untouched by modern development. The earthworks survive well and the
monument is a good example of a small single-homestead type moated site and
fishpond. Despite some plough damage to the upper levels of deposits,
considerable remains of the buildings which formerly occupied the island
will survive.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Poole, C, Old Widnes and its Neighbourhood, (1906)
Capstick, B., FMW Report, (1987)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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