This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Blithewood moated site

List Entry Summary

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.

Name: Blithewood moated site

List entry Number: 1011883


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Staffordshire

District: Staffordshire Moorlands

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Checkley

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 17-Jan-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Jan-1992

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 13467

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

The monument survives in good condition, its earthworks being particularly evident. The site is a rare and unusual example in Staffordshire of a double moated site which has an additional moated arm on one side and illustrates well the diversity in form of this class of monument. Additionally the site is unencumbered by modern development and will retain considerable evidence of the structural foundations of the buildings on the island, and further finds of artefacts associated with the occupation of the monument.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a well preserved double moated site with an additional moated arm on the E side. The site includes a raised grassy island measuring c.52m x 48m surrounded by a wet inner moat c.10m wide x 4.5m max. depth, beyond which is a flat-topped intermediate bank c.9m wide on the W side and 18m wide on the E. A wet outer moat c.10m wide x 4m max. depth surrounds these features. A dry channel issues from the SE corner of the inner moat and, cutting into the intermediate bank, connects with the outer moat. On the E side two external banks are separated by a waterlogged third moated arm c.7m wide which runs the full length of the monument. External banks also exist on the S, W and N sides, the former measuring c.8m wide x 0.5m high being the most prominent. The monument at Blithewood is largely undisturbed; however, a small excavation in 1846 found chain armour and medieval leather shoes. All fence posts along the E edge of the monument are excluded from the scheduling, although 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.

Selected Sources

Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
English Heritage Rec Off SAM Report Print form T,
PRN NO. 182, Staffordshire SMR, Blithewood: Checkley,

National Grid Reference: SJ 99074 36542


© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011883 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 24-Sep-2018 at 10:07:20.

End of official listing