Swineyard Hall moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Swineyard Hall moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
High Legh
National Grid Reference:
SJ 67800 83823

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 infilling of the moat's southern arm the monument remains a good example of a small medieval moated site. An unusual feature of this site is the existence of buried remains, thought to be contemporary with earlier occupation of the moated site, outside the moated enclosure. Evidence of the earlier hall and drawbridge will lie beneath the present house and upon the island. Additionally organic material will be preserved in the waterlogged moat.


The monument is the moated site of Swineyard Hall. It includes an island measuring c.38m square upon which stands Swineyard Hall. Surrounding the island are three arms of a waterlogged moat preserved as a stone and brick-lined ornamental pond with a width ranging from 6m across the western arm to 14m across the eastern arm by 0.4m deep to the water level. The southern arm has been infilled and a cobbled yard now occupies this area. A modern timber footbridge gives pedestrian access across the northern arm close to its north-western corner and replaced a drawbridge known to have existed until the 1920s. Between the moat's northern arm and Swineyard Lane is an area of lawn beneath which, at a depth of c.0.5m, are areas of cobbling and structural foundations. In the early 14th century the hamlet of Swineyard became the residence of a branch of the Legh family. Swineyard Hall is late 16th century with 19th- century additions and is a Listed Building Grade II*. Swineyard Hall and outbuilding, all service pipes, walls, railings, fences, telegraph poles, the timber bridge and the yard are excluded from the scheduling; the ground beneath all these features, however, 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)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
Mrs Houghton (site owner), To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, (1991)
SMR No. 1195/1/1, Cheshire SMR, Swineyard Hall Farmhouse, (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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