Ancient Monuments

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Wardley Hall moated site, Worsley

A Scheduled Monument in Swinton North, Salford

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Latitude: 53.5154 / 53°30'55"N

Longitude: -2.3671 / 2°22'1"W

OS Eastings: 375755.529319

OS Northings: 402143.093541

OS Grid: SD757021

Mapcode National: GBR CWXS.BK

Mapcode Global: WH982.MW1W

Entry Name: Wardley Hall moated site, Worsley

Scheduled Date: 16 July 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1014725

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27591

County: Salford

Electoral Ward/Division: Swinton North

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Worsley St Mark

Church of England Diocese: Manchester


The monument includes a moated site with an island occupied by a medieval hall
and gardens.
The moat was originally 20m wide and completely encircled the site. At present
it is widened on the west and south side to provide a water feature for the
gardens. On the east and north sides the moat has been filled in to extend the
gardens. On the east side the course of the moat can be traced as a wetter
strip in the lawn. A scoop has also been taken out of the island platform here
to provide a level space for a bowling green or tennis courts in the past. The
soil from this excavation has been used to fill the moat at this point. To the
north of the site the moat is overlain by a kitchen garden and the cobbled
yard for the entrance of the hall. Engravings of the hall, in the possession
of the owner, show that in the 18th century the moat was filled with water in
front of the hall and that a bridge spanned the moat to provide entry to the
hall on this north side.
The platform of the island measures approximately 100m wide and is circular;
the enclosed area is 0.65ha.
The building of the present hall is recorded in the 14th century with
extensive restorations later. This building will have replaced an earlier one.
The hall is Listed Grade I.
The hall building, the outbuildings, the former sundial shaft (Listed Grade
II), and the garden wall lying over the moat are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath them 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.

The moated site at Wardley Hall survives reasonably well despite the continued
occupation of the island and landscaping of the gardens around the hall. The
circular form of the site is unusual for this region. The island will retain
evidence of the buildings which formerly occupied it, including evidence of
the earliest medieval hall. Silts and deposits in both the open and infilled
sections of the moat will retain important environmental and other remains.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire: Volume IV, (1911), 385-8
Greater Manchester SMR, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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