Hough Hall moated site, ancillary enclosure and fishpond


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


Ordnance survey map of Hough Hall moated site, ancillary enclosure and fishpond
© 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 72161 83347

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 is unencumbered by modern development and will possess further archaeological evidence of Hough Hall and its associated buildings together with further evidence of activity pre-dating construction of the moated site. Additionally, future archaeological investigation will be able to examine further the relationship between the moated site and the structures known to have existed within the ancillary enclosure.


The monument is the moated site of Hough Hall and includes a grassy island c.30m square surrounded on three sides by a dry moat c.15m wide x 1.5m deep except on the NW side where the bed of a now infilled stream has been widened to make a shallow moat c.30m wide that remains boggy. A grassy outer bank 9m wide x 0.6m high flanks the NE arm and was originally a dam designed to raise the water level to flood the moat. A waterlogged pond or marl pit has been cut into the bank's E end. To the SW of the moat lies an irregularly-shaped grassy, boggy area with maximum measurements of 45m x 21m that is the site of a former fishpond now partially drained and infilled. Adjacent to the moat's SW arm is a grassy ancillary enclosure measuring c.40m x 70m that is crossed by a grassy track running from Hulseheath Lane to the fishpond. The moated site was constructed some time before 1350. Limited excavations on the island revealed pits pre-dating the moated site, above which were found the structural remains of a complex group of buildings occupying a moated messuage of high status that was abandoned by 1500. The ancillary-enclosure contained cottages and gardens reached by the track from Hulseheath Lane. These buildings had been demolished by 1870. All field boundaries 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
Garbutt, A, Hough Hall Moated Site, Bucklow Hill, Cheshire, (1986)
Higham, N J , Hough Hall: The Trial Excavation of a Moated Platform in Mere, (1988)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
Title: "Hill Sketch" Map Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:2500 County Series Map Source Date: 1876 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Tithe Map Source Date: 1841 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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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