Hay House moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011055

Date first listed: 08-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Hay House moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 21-Nov-2018 at 17:48:42.


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

County: Staffordshire

District: South Staffordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Dunston

National Grid Reference: SJ 90809 17051


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.

Although only partly visible on the ground, the moated site at Hay House is largely unencumbered by modern development. The circumstances surrounding the backfilling of the moat ditches mean that they will survive in good condition as buried features and retain archaeological deposits which will be of value in understanding the environment and the economy of the medieval occupants. The original moated island will retain considerable artefactual and structural information of the house that originally occupied it. The monument also has good documentation referring to its history as a prebendal manor.


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


The monument includes the moated site at Hay House and is located in an isolated context on gently undulating ground in the parish of Dunston. It is partly occupied by a brick-built farmhouse, which is a Grade II listed building, and its associated agricultural buildings. In 1956 the Ministry of Agricuture, Fisheries and Food requested that the moat be infilled to reduce the danger to dairy cattle. The moat was infilled using imported household refuse but will survive as a buried feature. The north-western arm of the moat remains visible on the ground surface as a slight depression on a NE-SW axis. Estate maps dating to 1828 and 1875 provide good evidence for the original layout of the moated site. The moat, which was approximately 10m wide, surrounded a single rectangular island which measured approximately 60m NE-SW and 50m NW-SE. In 1828 the moat was waterfilled on three sides though the north-eastern arm was dry. There is a small waterfilled pond to the south-west of the moated site which has not been included in the scheduling. The lands in Penkridge called 'le Heyhouse' were part of the possessions of Penkridge College at the time of the Dissolution in 1547. The lands had been assigned for the support of the two resident canons and were leased to Edward Harte. By 1585 the messuage called the Hay House had passed to the Fowlke family who sold it a year later to Edward Littleton of Pillaton Hall, Penkridge. Excluded from the scheduling are the farmhouse which is a Grade II listed building, the associated outbuildings, all fence posts and the surfaces of all the farm tracks and garden paths 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 5 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: 21518

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Greenslade, M W, The Victoria History of the County of Staffordshire, (1959), 124
Hammer, M E, 'Staffordshire Archaeology' in The Moated Sites of Staffordshire, , Vol. 3, (1974), 36
Title: The Littleton Estate Map-Dunston Source Date: 1828 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing