Foxtwist moated site, two fishponds and connecting channels


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Foxtwist moated site, two fishponds and connecting channels
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 89667 79825

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.

Foxtwist moated site survives in good condition and possesses a range of component parts. The site is a rare example in Cheshire of a small homestead moat that is double moated on three sides, and the unusual form exhibited by this site illustrates well the diversity of this class of monument.


The monument at Foxtwist comprises a small homestead moated site, additionally enclosed on three sides by an outer moat, and also adjacent fishponds and connecting channels. The monument includes a raised grass covered island c.31m x 18m possessing faint traces of the foundations of a cottage and the remains of a small orchard. Surrounding the island is an inner moat c.6m wide x 2m deep, waterlogged on the W side where it has formed a pond. Access to the island is from the SW via a well made causeway 3m wide with flanking ditches. A dry outer moat extends around the NW, N and E sides and was fed by a waterlogged pond on higher ground some 90m to the E linked by a channel now much reduced by ploughing. A dry channel, now utilised as a modern field boundary, runs NE-SW adjacent to the E side of the inner moat. Close to the SE corner of the inner moat this channel broadens and deepens and continues S for some 85m before turning W to link with a dry rectangular fishpond c.47m x 12m x 1m deep. William de Foxwist lived in the manor house at the site in the early 13th century. This was dismantled in 1357 and re-erected in Macclesfield where it served as the Market Hall. A new structure was erected on the moated site and this passed by marriage to the Duncalf family, eventually being sold to the Leghs of Adlington in 1609 who have owned the site ever since. By the end of the 17th century a small cottage had been built on the site. This building was demolished c.1920. All field boundaries and telegraph poles are excluded from the scheduling. The ground beneath these features, however, 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:


Capstick, B., FMW Report, (1987)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1987)
SMR No. 1430/1, Foxtwist Moated Site,


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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