Simfields moated site.


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


Ordnance survey map of Simfields moated site.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 23-May-2019 at 11:42:29.


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

Staffordshire Moorlands (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 92111 46895

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 being partly infilled along its N arm the monument survives in good condition, its earthworks being particularly evident. The site is unencumbered by modern development and will retain considerable archaeological evidence of structural foundations associated with the building occupied by the Verdons prior to their departure to Alton Castle.


The monument is a moated site that includes an island surrounded by a predominantly dry moat. The grass covered raised island measures c.48m x 30m and is surrounded by a moat partly infilled on the N side but elsewhere measuring c.12m wide x 1.5m max. depth. The moat is generally dry but remains boggy in its W arm where it is fed by spring water through an inlet channel at the SW corner. A second inlet channel, now dry, enters the moat at the SE corner. The moat is flanked on all sides by outer banks varying in width between 7-10m and varying in height between 0.1 - 0.5m. A hollow ditch leads downhill from the moat's NE corner. On the N side of the moat, at the edge of a 10m wide flat area beyond the outer bank, is a low enclosure bank 0.2m high running along the edge of a steep declivity. The moated site at Simfields was the seat of the Verdons before Alton Castle. All wooden poles carrying an electricity cable are excluded from the scheduling. The ground beneath them, however, 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:


Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)
P.R. No. 180, Staffordshire SMR, Simfields: Caverswall,
To Robinson, K D MPPFW, Mr R Green (tenant farmer),


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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