Foulk Stapleford moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Foulk Stapleford 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)
Foulk Stapleford
National Grid Reference:
SJ 48467 64081

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.

Despite some recent overploughing that has reduced the monument's profile the moated site at Foulk Stapleford survives in a relatively undamaged condition unencumbered by modern development. The site retains considerable archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence of the structures that originally occupied the island.


The monument comprises a moated site formerly occupied by the manor house of Foulk Stapleford. It is bounded on the E by the old course of the River Gowy and on the W by the modern course of the Gowy - originally a leat to Walk Mill. The site includes a grassy platform measuring some 47-50m each way and standing c.0.3m above the neighbouring ground surface. There is a low inner bank running around the perimeter of the island and faint traces of surface scarps. A dry moat 18-20m wide x 1.2m deep surrounds the island and this is flanked by an outer bank up to 10m wide x 0.2m max. height. Foulk Stapleford was created out of a 12th century division of the manor of Stapleford but the distinctive manorial name only became common usage after Fulk de Orby (Justice of Chester 1259-60) succeeded his father's holding in Stapleford in the mid 13th century. The site passed through various hands before ceasing to be in use as a residence by the early 16th century. The fence running along the moat's W outer bank adjacent to the E bank of the Gowy is excluded from the scheduling. However, the ground beneath it 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:


Cheshire SMR No. 1885, (1989)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Pagination 106, PN Cheshire,
RAF, RAF CPE/UK 1935/4034-6 (17-1-47) & 2194-5 (17-1-47),
RCHME (Keele), Foulk Stapleford SJ46SE2 Moat, (1986)


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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