Moated site at Moat House Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011056

Date first listed: 10-Oct-1994


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Moat House Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Staffordshire

District: South Staffordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Acton Trussell and Bednall

National Grid Reference: SJ 93583 17682


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 the southern and western arms of the moated site at Moat House Farm have been destroyed, the two remaining arms and the moated island survive in good condition. The monument will retain important structural and artefactual evidence for the type and period of occupation and for the economy of its inhabitants.


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


The monument includes the moated site situated 180m north-west of St James's Church in the wide valley of the River Penk. The site was originally surrounded by water on all four sides and had this configuration until the later 18th century. Two arms of the moat, the northern and eastern, are visible on the ground surface and both are waterfilled. There is a slight external bank on the eastern edge of the site. The location of the original access to the island is uncertain but access is currently via a causeway at the north-eastern corner of the monument. The earthwork at the southern end of the eastern arm of the moat may represent an embankment connected with access onto the island. The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal was constructed on the lines of the original western and southern arms of the moated site. The line of the canal, however, was subsequently straightened and the canal bed on the line of the original southern arm of the moat was filled in. Neither the existing canal along the west side of the site, nor its earlier line along the south side of the site are included within the scheduling. An excavation in August 1989 located what is considered to be the south-western corner of the moated island. The present house on the site, the Moat House, is a Grade II listed building of the late 15th century with 18th-century alterations and is known to stand on the site of the manor house of the Trussell family. After 1500 the manor passed to the Earls of Oxford. Excluded from the scheduling are Moat House Farm and its associated outbuildings, the tarmac surfaces of the car park and access roads onto the platform, the lamp-posts and the paved area to the south of Moat House Farm 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: 21519

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club' in Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club, , Vol. 46, (1911), 139
Hammer, M E, 'Staffordshire Archaeology' in The Moated Sites of Staffordshire, , Vol. 3, (1974), 37

End of official listing