Ancient Monuments

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Ightfield Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Ightfield, Shropshire

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Latitude: 52.9504 / 52°57'1"N

Longitude: -2.5973 / 2°35'50"W

OS Eastings: 359964.959748

OS Northings: 339387.122049

OS Grid: SJ599393

Mapcode National: GBR 7P.L5ML

Mapcode Global: WH9BW.23GH

Entry Name: Ightfield Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 7 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016830

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32303

County: Shropshire

Civil Parish: Ightfield

Traditional County: Shropshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Shropshire

Church of England Parish: Ightfield St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated
site. It is believed to be the manorial centre of Ightfield Manor, which is
listed in the Domesday survey among the manors held by Gerald de Tournay. In
the early 13th century it was held by Walter Hose (Hussey) and Robert
de Ightfield. In the mid-15th century Ightfield manor house became the
principal seat of the Mainwarings, who were an important and influential
family in Shropshire. It remained in their ownership until 1707 when it was
sold to the Needhams (the Earls of Kilmorey) and then purchased by the
Heywood-Lonsdales in 1884. Documentary sources also indicate that the manor
house lay within a park, which in the mid-16th century was noted as being
extensively wooded.
The moated site is situated in an area of undulating land and was constructed
on a gentle south east-facing slope. The moat arms, which average 23m in
width, are now dry, with the exception of the south western corner where a
pond has been created. The moat defines a rectangular island, approximately
44m south west-north east and 60m north west-south east. Material excavated
from the moat has been used to raise the surface of the island by about 1.5m
above the surrounding ground level. The inner moat sides defining the
northern half of the island survive to a height of 3m. The eastern half of the
north eastern arm is less pronounced because of later infilling. A concrete
cattle trough in the base of the south eastern arm and the associated
brick-built retaining walls have also altered the original profile of this
part of the moat.
Access to the island is by means of a causeway across the south eastern moat
arm. Under it runs a culvert that carried water from the pond to the cattle
trough. There is a further causeway across the south western arm which is
believed to be of modern date.
Much of the island is occupied by buildings. Ightfield Hall is a farmhouse
probably dating to the late 17th century which was extended in the 19th
century. It is a Grade II Listed Building and is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath it is included. A stone inscribed with the date
1579 was built into the exterior wall of the extended portion of the house.
This stone is considered to have come from an earlier structure that stood on
the site. To west of the hall there is a former stable, now a store, of
probable 17th or 18th century date but incorporating earlier materials. It is
also Listed Grade II and excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath it is included. Other ancillary structures date to the 19th
and 20th centuries.
A number of features are excluded from the scheduling, these are; Ightfield
Hall and its associated outbuildings and garden features, all modern field
boundaries and gates, the surfaces of the causeways and the yard surfaces,
electricity poles, the concrete cattle trough and the associated retaining
walls; the ground beneath all these features is, however, 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.

Ightfield Hall moated site is a well-preserved example of this class of
monument. The moat island will retain structural and artefactual evidence for
the buildings that stood on the site which, together with the artefacts
and organic remains existing in the moat, will provide valuable evidence about
the occupation and social status of its inhabitants. Organic remains surviving
in the buried ground surface under the raised interior and within the moat
itself will also provide information about changes in the local environment
and land use before and after the moated site was constructed. The importance
of the site is enhanced by documentary sources which provide detailed
ownership information.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire: Volume I, (1908), 493
Barson, S, Bond, R, The Historical Development of Ightfield Hall Barn, Ightfield, (1997)

Source: Historic England

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