Pillaton Old Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011061

Date first listed: 09-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Pillaton Old Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 10:42:12.


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

County: Staffordshire

District: South Staffordshire (District Authority)

Parish: Penkridge

National Grid Reference: SJ 94304 12923


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.

Pillaton Old Hall is a good example of a moated site with major contemporary buildings standing above ground. The moated island will retain important structural and artefactual evidence for the other buildings known to have occupied the island and the infilled ditches will retain information regarding the environment and economy of its inhabitants. The importance of the site is enhanced by good documentary records and detailed map evidence.


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


Pillaton Old Hall moated site is situated in an isolated context within a wide valley, 180m south of Pillaton Hall Farm. The Old Hall, which is partly in use as a dwelling and is partly ruined, originally stood within a waterfilled moat and, although the moat has been drained since 1860 and is now mostly filled in, it is still visible in places as a slight depression in the ground surface and it survives intact as a buried feature. Estate maps dating to 1754 and 1828 provide evidence for the layout of the moated site. The moat was semi-circular at its southern extent and approximately 10m wide on the west, east and south sides of the site. The northern arm of the moat was approximately 32m wide at its widest. There is a single, segmental-arched bridge across the infilled northern section of the moat. It is built of ashlar and red brick, with a coped parapet, and is largely 18th century in date. The bridge is a Grade II listed building and is included within the scheduling. The island is slightly raised above the surrounding ground surface and measures 60m north-south and 34m west-east. A retaining wall is visible on the eastern and northern edges of the island. The four ranges of buildings of Pillaton Old Hall originally formed a quadrangle around a central open courtyard and were situated at the northern end of the moated island. Upstanding remains of the east and south ranges include an early 16th-century rectangular chimney stack. It is built of red brick with a stone plinth and survives to a height of approximately 6m. There is a blocked fireplace on the west side of the stack. The chimney stack is a Grade II listed building and is included within the scheduling. The northern range, which has been restored, is now occupied and is excluded from the scheduling. It is built of brick and includes a 16th-century gatehouse with four centred arches and turrets of the early 18th century. It is a Grade II* listed building. East of the gatehouse is the stone-built chapel dedicated to St Modwena which was built c.1480. The chapel was restored in the 19th century. It remains in ecclesiastical use and is not included in the scheduling. The manor of Pillaton was held by Burton Abbey. From at least the early 16th century Pillaton Old Hall was owned by the Littleton family. By 1740 the Littleton family had moved to Teddesley and the house at Pillaton was largely demolished. A drawing of Pillaton Old Hall in about 1798 by Stebbing Shaw indicates that only the north range and a number of large chimney stacks from the other ranges remained standing by this date. Excluded from the scheduling are the restored north range of Pillaton Old Hall, St Modwena's Chapel, the recently-built brick west range, the ornamental pools to the north and east of the island, the wall on the western edge of the site, all fence posts and the surfaces of the paths and driveways within the site but the ground beneath all these features is included in the scheduling.

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: 21526

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Salter, M, Castles and Moated Mansions of Staffordshire and West Midlands, (1989), 43
Tidesley, J C, The History of Penkridge63-66
Hammer, M E, 'Staffordshire Archaeology' in The Moated Sites of Staffordshire, , Vol. 3, (1974), 37
Shaw, S, Unpublished Drawings - The Old Ruins of Pillaton Hall, 1798,
Title: Hatherton Atlas- Pillaton Old Hall Source Date: 1754 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Littleton Estate Map Source Date: 1828 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing