Moated site and fishpond at Moat Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Stafford (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 97763 28323

Reasons for Designation

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 site at Moat Farm, Gayton survives well and represents a fine example of a combined moat and fishpond water-management complex.


The monument includes the moated site and associated fishpond 60m south of St Peter's Church, Gayton. The moated site includes a slightly raised island which is oval in plan and measures 70m west-east by 50m north-south. The northern part of the moat has been partially infilled, although traces of the original moat edge remain as shallow depressions. The south, east and west arms of the moat are waterfilled and are up to 12m wide and 4m deep, although the east arm has some silting. The moat is surrounded by an external enclosure bank which rises to a height of 0.5m. The partially tree-lined outer bank is most evident at the west and south sides of the moat. Original access to the island was probably from the north-east, although whether by causeway or by bridge is not now clear. The fishpond is situated 90m to the west of the moated complex, connected to the moat by a dry channel 4m wide. The southern part of the pond is seasonally waterfilled. Rectangular in plan, the fishpond measures 175m by 60m. There are retaining banks surrounding the edge of the pond. The two circular islands within the fishpond, both 10m in diameter, are likely to have been provided for the nesting of waterfowl. The manor is known to have been held by the Meverelle family until 1274 when Nicholas de Nugent died leaving nine daughters as co-heiresses. Excluded from the scheduling are the 18th-19th century brick farmhouse and the associated agricultural buildings of Moat Farm, a telegraph pole and cable support on the northern arm of the moat, all paths, driveways, fences, the surface of the trackway at the north side of the fishpond but the ground beneath these features is included.

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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Johnstone, H, The Victoria History of the County of Staffordshire, (1908), 363
'North Staffordshire Field Club Transactions' in North Staffordshire Field Club Transactions, , Vol. 47, (1912), 185-6


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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