Clayton Hall moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Clayton Hall moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Manchester (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 88124 98564

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.

Despite the loss of archaeological deposits from the surrounding moat Clayton Hall moated site survives well. Evidence of the earlier building phases of Clayton Hall will survive on the island as will further remains of the late 14th/early 15th century chapel.


The monument is the moated site of Clayton Hall. It includes the rectangular island which measures c.66m by 74m upon which stands the present Clayton Hall. Access to the island is by a late medieval twin-arched stone bridge across the moat's south-eastern arm. Clayton was the seat of the Byron family from the late 12th to the early 17th century, after which it passed through various families. It was the birthplace of Humphrey Chetham, founder of Chetham's School. A late 14th/early 15th century chapel stood at the island's north-west corner until the beginning of the 18th century and fragments of the masonry have been found on the island from time to time. During the 15th century building expansion took place and Clayton Hall is thought to have been quadrangular or of three wings at this time. This hall was largely demolished and a new house built during the 17th century. Additions to the hall were made in the 18th century and in 1900 the house was largely restored. The late medieval bridge replaced an earlier timber structure and was widened at the turn of the 19th century. Clayton Hall is a Listed Building Grade II*. Clayton Hall and its outbuildings, the bridge, all service pipes, paths, driveways, fences, stone gateposts, a stone mounting block, ornamental stone posts, and the works compound and its associated buildings in the island's north-eastern corner are all excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included. The surrounding moat, which has been scoured out and concrete lined, is not included in the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Farrer, W, Brownbill, J, The Victoria History of the County
Farrer, W, Brownbill, J, The Victoria History of the County
Farrer, W, Brownbill, J, The Victoria History of the County
Tindall, A S, 'Country Houses of Greater Manchester' in The Moated House, (1985)
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
Hales, S. (Parks Manager, Man City Council), To Robinson, K.D., (1992)
SMR No. 1428/1/0, Gt Manchester SMR, Clayton Hall, (1989)


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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