Sandon Old Hall moated site


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


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

Stafford (District Authority)
Sandon and Burston
National Grid Reference:
SJ 95653 29526

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 monument survives well and is largely unencumbered by modern development. The moated island will retain considerable structural and artefactual evidence of the original house known to have existed on the island. Additonally, organic material will be preserved within the waterfilled moat ditches. The importance of the site is enhanced by good historical documentation.


The monument includes the moated site 170m north-east of Sandon church. The moated site has external dimensions of approximately 100m west-east by 80m north-south. The waterfilled moat measures 12m to 15m wide and is approximately 4m deep. A narrow bank or spur divides the western arm of the moat into two parts. It therefore takes the form of two parallel channels joined at their southern end. Much of the inner edge of the moat is stone- faced. The moated island measures approximately 49m square. A causeway across the eastern arm and a narrow footbridge on the northern side of the moat now provide access onto the moated island. The original entrance was via a drawbridge across the eastern arm of the moat which led to the house on the moated island. By 1854, however, a small portion of stone walling was the only standing remains of this building. The site was acquired, through marriage, by the Erdeswick family in 1338. The family included Sampson Erdeswick (d.1603), the antiquary and first historian of Staffordshire. Sandon Hall remained the property of the Erdeswick family until the mid-17th century. Excluded from the scheduling are the footbridge across the moat, all fence posts and the 19th-century cottage, the ornamental pond, the outbuildings used for storage and the animal pens which are situated on the moated island, but the ground beneath all 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
Erdeswick, S , Survey of Staffordshire, (1820), 39-40
Plot, R, The Natural History of Staffordshire, (1686), 61
Scrivener, A, 'Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club' in Sandon, All Saints' Church, , Vol. 1910-11, (1911), 137


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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