Iddinshall Hall moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Iddinshall 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 53425 62722

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.

Although the monument is now tree covered it retains considerable archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence of the structural foundations of Iddinshall Hall and for the recovery of evidence of an ecclesiastical precursor thought to have been located here. Future archaeological investigation is also likely to prove/disprove the suggestion that a Roman fortlet was located here. In addition the unusually large size exhibited by this site illustrates well the diversity in form of this class of monument.


The monument comprises a moated site formerly occupied by Iddinshall Hall, and is an unusually large example of its type, measuring c.120m x 100m and surrounded by a predominantly dry moat 10-12m wide x 2.5m max.depth. The island possesses an inner bank 6m wide x 0.5m high with access being gained by a causeway on the E side. On the S side is an outer bank 6m wide x 1m high. A dry outlet channel issues from the moat's SW corner. The whole site is now under trees and bushes; various timbers and pieces of dressed stone litter the copse. The Canons of St Werburgh held the township of Iddinshall at Domesday and it is thought likely that an early monastic house or grange existed here. After the Dissolution Iddinshall was granted to the Dean and Chapter of Chester from whom it was extorted by Sir Richard Cotton. In 1550 it was sold to the Hurlestones. By 1810 the hall had been demolished. It has been suggested that the large size of the moat and its strategic location at the Beeston Gap indicates the presence here of a Roman fortlet. All fences are excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath them 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
Webb, , Itinerary of Cheshire, (1622)
Ormerod, G, 'History of Cheshire' in History of Cheshire, , Vol. 2, (1882)
6/A.416, County Treasurers Record,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Pagination 28, Mills, G, CAB, (1983)
SMR No. 1846/1, Cheshire SMR, Iddinshall Hall, (1989)


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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