Norbury Booths Hall moated site, fishponds and connecting channels.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011668

Date first listed: 04-Jun-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Oct-1991


Ordnance survey map of Norbury Booths Hall moated site, fishponds and connecting channels.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Knutsford

National Grid Reference: SJ 76956 77862


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 monument at Norbury Booths Hall survives in good condition and is a rare and unusual example in Cheshire of an elongated D-shaped moated site complemented by an extensive system of fishponds. The unusual form exhibited by this site illustrates well the diversity of this class of monument. In addition the island has remained unencumbered by modern development and limited excavation has revealed substantial well preserved structural remains of two building phases associated with the medieval manor house. Further archaeological features are likely to exist on the island.


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


The monument at Norbury Booths Hall comprises an elongated D-shaped homestead moated site surrounded by a waterlogged moat linked to an extensive system of fishponds and connecting channels. The monument includes a raised grass-covered island c.100m x 65m used for pasture. A small excavation in 1973 revealed some five worked stone blocks. The island is surrounded by a waterlogged moat varying in width from 6-10m. Access to the island is by a bridge of timber sleepers across the N arm of the moat. An outer bank c.6-8m wide x 0.3m high exists along the E and SE sides of the moat. A short dry inlet/outlet channel runs from the SW corner of the moat into a drain that flows NE to empty into Spring Wood Lake. A silted rectangular fishpond with an outlet channel connecting with the drain to Spring Wood Lake lies close to the SW corner of the moated site. A series of five fishponds, four silted, one waterlogged, lie in woodland some 120m SW of the moated site and are linked with the drain to Spring Wood Lake by a waterlogged channel. Norbury Booths Hall was a timber construction and quadrangular in shape. From the 14th century to the end of the 17th century the manor descended through the family of Legh of Booth. This hall was replaced by a new Booths Hall built c.210m to the W in 1745. However, buildings are known to have occupied the moated site within living memory and a small excavation in the 1970s found substantial structural remains of 14th century and Tudor buildings. All fences, hedges, and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath 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: 13449

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Ormerod, , History of Cheshire, (1882)
Parkinson, H, 'Cheshire Archaeological Bulletin' in Norbury Booths Hall, , Vol. 2, (1974), 20-2
Wilson, D, 'Cheshire Archaeological Bulletin' in Norbury Booths Hall, , Vol. 5, (1977), 39
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
DOE, Buildings of Special Hist & Arch Interest,
PRN 1242/1, Cheshire SMR Norbury Booths Hall,
Wright, D (Asst Admin Off NNC), (1990)

End of official listing