Moated site, four pond bays and an associated enclosure at Willoughbridge Park


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011052

Date first listed: 08-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Moated site, four pond bays and an associated enclosure at Willoughbridge Park
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Staffordshire

District: Newcastle-under-Lyme (District Authority)

Parish: Loggerheads

National Grid Reference: SJ 74296 39029


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 moated site, the pond bays and the sub-rectangular enclosure at Willoughbridge survive well and are unencumbered by modern development. The monument represents a fine example of a combined moat and water-management complex. The moated island will retain evidence of the medieval house that existed on the island and the naturally silted ponds and moat ditches will retain evidence for the environment and economy of the occupants of the moated site.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a moated site, four associated pond bays and a sub-rectangular enclosure situated 400m south-west of Willoughbridge Wells. All features of the site are aligned end-on from SSE-NNW, the pond bays lying to the south of the moated site and the enclosure to the north. The moated site has external dimensions of 100m NW-SE by 90m NE-SW. The moat is up to 16m wide and averages 3m deep. It is now dry, although the stream which supplied water to the moat flows through the south-western arm of the moat. The stream is separated from an open drain by a low bank; this arrangement appears to be post-medieval. There are external banks at the northern and north-eastern outer edges of the moat. The moated island is under rough pasture, measures 70m NW-SE and 60m NE-SW and is raised above the surrounding land. There is no surface evidence for the location of the original access. A bank at the south-western edge of the moated site forms the retaining bank for the first of four ponds which are situated to the south of the moated site. The retaining bank is visible as an earthwork for a length of 50m and the pond formed to the south of the bank is now dry. Approximately 70m south- east of the moated site is a second retaining bank which is 20m long and 1m high. The earthwork originally extended beyond the eastern edge of the stream but this area is currently under cultivation and the bank is no longer visible at ground level and is not included in the scheduling. The third retaining bank is situated a further 80m upstream and stands approximately 2m high. The field to the east of the pond is under cultivation and the original eastern end of the retaining bank is no longer visible and is therefore not included in the scheduling. The pond created by this earthwork extended for a further 80m to the south and its extent is included in the scheduling: it is partly waterfilled. A fourth retaining bank is visible approximately 320m south-east of the moated site. The dam measures 1.5m high and is visible for a length of up to 40m. The south-western end of the dam has been destroyed and is no longer visible on the ground surface and is therefore not included in the scheduling. A sub-rectangular area of approximately 80m NW-SE by 60m NE-SW extends to the north of the moated site. The northern and north-eastern edges of the enclosure are bounded by slight earthworks in an area under cultivation. The external bank north-west of the moated site forms the southern boundary of the enclosure. It is bounded on its western edge by the stream. The enclosure is associated with the moated site and may have been used for keeping stock. The moated site at Willoughbridge Park is thought to have originated with an early medieval site which enclosed a wooden semi-defensive residence. Excluded from the scheduling are the modern retaining wall and drainage pipe located within the stream channel to the south of the moated site, and all fence posts, but the ground beneath all these features 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: 21515

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bemrose, G J V, 'Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club' in Archaeology and History, , Vol. 72, (1938), 117

End of official listing