Bretters Farm moated site and two fishponds


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Bretters Farm moated site and two fishponds
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1009350.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 13-Nov-2019 at 17:41:47.


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

Chorley (District Authority)
Heath Charnock
National Grid Reference:
SD 59919 15409

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.

'Old Hall' moated site at Bretters Farm survives well, its earthworks being particularly evident. The monument is unencumbered by modern development and, as shown by previous limited trenching and de-turfing, retains considerable archaeological evidence of the medieval buildings which originally occupied the site. Additionally the waterlogged moat and pond will contain organic materials.


The monument is the moated site known as 'Old Hall' lying some 30m north of Bretters Farm. The site includes a grassy island measuring 48m x 38m upon which the medieval manor house stood. The island is surrounded by a partly waterlogged moat 15m average width and up to 3m deep with an outlet channel issuing from the north western corner. Access to the island is by a causeway across the southern arm. Adjacent to the western arm is a triangular waterlogged pond 18m north-south by 24m east-west and connected to the moat by a short channel. Adjacent to the northern arm is a sub-circular waterlogged fishpond 14m diameter also connected to the moat by a short channel. There is an outer bank 3m wide and up to 0.2m high adjacent to the moat's eastern arm. The medieval manor of Heath Charnock is recorded in documents from the 13th century onwards and was in the possession of the Ferrers family and subsequently other notable Lancastrian families. Limited excavation on the island has revealed finds ranging in date from the 12th to the 18th centuries, the most significant being pottery fragments of 12/13th century date. Recent de-turfing of the island exposed significant structural foundations just below the present ground surface. All field boundaries are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them is included.

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:


Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)
Dennison, E, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1987)
Nieke, Dr M, (1990)
SMR No. 889, Lancashire SMR, Bretters Farm, (1986)
To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, Iles, P. (SMR Officer), Bretters Farm, (1992)


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].