Little Moreton Hall moated site and outlying prospect mound


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


Ordnance survey map of Little Moreton Hall moated site and outlying prospect mound
© 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)
Odd Rode
National Grid Reference:
SJ 83181 58874, SJ 83233 58925

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.

Little Moreton Hall moated site is commonly regarded as containing the most famous and picturesque timber-framed manor house in England. The form of the original medieval site is clearly evident and extensive remains of the original buildings on the island will survive beneath the present house and gardens. Additionally organic remains will survive in the waterlogged moat. The Elizabethan use of the site demonstrates the continued importance of the monument at this later period.


The monument is the moated site of Little Moreton Hall, one of the finest examples of a medieval moated manor house in England. The site includes an island c.70m x 50m containing the timber-framed Little Moreton Hall, lawns, ornamental shrubs, gravel paths, a prospect mound, and the knot garden - a 20th century restoration of an Elizabethan garden. Surrounding the island is a waterlogged moat c.10m wide flanked on its W side by a low outer bank c.2m wide x 0.2m high. Access to the island is by a low sandstone bridge across the moat's S arm that leads to the S gatehouse. At this point the moat sides are revetted. A second prospect mound lies outside the moat close to the SW corner. Little Moreton Hall was first mentioned in 1271. The present structure evolved from the early 15th century to c.1600 and is currently owned by the National Trust and open to the public. Little Moreton Hall and the bridge allowing access across the moat are Grade 1 Listed. Little Moreton Hall, its courtyard and bridge, all service pipes, fences and gravel paths are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath all these features is included. The monument is divided into two separate constraint areas.

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
Dodgson, J McN, The Place Names of Cheshire Part 1, (1970)
Williams, S R, 'CAB' in CAB, , Vol. 6, (1978)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
SMR No. 130/1/1, Cheshire SMR, Little Moreton Hall, (1989)
SMR No. 130/1/2, Cheshire SMR, Barn at Little Moreton Hall Farm, (1987)
SMR No. 130/1/4, Cheshire SMR, Garden at Little Moreton Hall, (1989)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
To Turner R C, (1984)
Wilson, D., To Cheshire SMR, (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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