Dodleston Hall moated site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Dodleston Hall moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 36119 61462

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.

Much of the moated site of Dodleston Hall survives well and is unencumbered by modern development. The monument retains considerable archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence of building foundations associated with the earlier Dodleston Hall known to have occupied the centre of the island. Additionally the unusually large size exhibited by this site illustrates well the diversity in this class of monument.


The monument at Dodleston Hall comprises much of the extensive rectilinear island of a moated site together with the surrounding dry moat and an outer bank flanking the SW arm. The monument is an unusually large example of its type with the grassy island originally measuring c.150m x 110m and containing an area over 1.6 hectares. Surrounding the island on three sides is a dry moat 7-10m wide x 1m max. depth. Access to the interior was via a causeway across the moat's SE arm. An inner bank c.6m wide x 0.2m high flanks the NE arm and an outer bank 12m wide x 0.2m high flanks the SW arm. During the 16th century Dodleston Hall was a timber structure occupying the centre of the island. It was owned by Sir Thomas Egerton, later Lord Chancellor. The hall was demolished c.1788 and a farmhouse erected on the site. All field and property boundaries are excluded from the scheduling. A telegraph pole on the island and a concrete inspection chamber in the SW arm of the moat are also excluded from the scheduling but 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:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Ormerod, G, 'History of Cheshire' in History of Cheshire, , Vol. 3, (1882)
3244, RAF, Sortie No. CPE/UK/1935, (1947)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Mr. T. G. Dodd (Site owner), To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, (1990)
Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Record Card SJ 36 SE 3, (1975)
SMR Record No. 1978/3, Dodleston Hall, (1989)
Williams, S R, Dodleston 2, (1977)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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