Speke Hall moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Speke Hall moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. 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 - 1011887.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 12-Dec-2019 at 14:29:24.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Liverpool (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 41872 82567

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.

Speke Hall moated site is commonly regarded as containing one of the best examples of late medieval/early post medieval timber-framed houses in the country. The site has been constantly occupied for almost 700 years and will retain considerable archaeological evidence of earlier building phases of Speke Hall beneath the present structure. Additionally the monument will retain evidence for the extent of the original moat now infilled beneath the lawn SE of the Hall.


The monument is the moated site of Speke Hall, Merseyside's finest Tudor building. The site includes an island originally some 65m square and predominantly occupied by Speke Hall, a large timber-framed structure on a stone base constructed around a courtyard. Surrounding the island is a moat, now dry and much altered by landscaping, but still extant on all sides except the SE. In its present form the moat is some 30m max. width x 2.5m max. depth. The N and E arms of the moat are crossed by sandstone bridges. The earliest documentary evidence for Speke Hall is 1314. The hall was formed into a quadrangular manor house during the 14th century and completely rebuilt between 1490-1598. The N bridge was added c.1568. The house was owned by the Norris family for much of its history and there is ample documentation, both medieval and post-medieval, relating to the household and contents. Speke Hall is a Listed Building Grade I. Both the N and E bridges are Listed Buildings Grade II. Speke Hall, its associated outbuildings and all service pipes; both bridges; all paths, walls, hedges and fences; and a sewage system in the infilled SE arm of the moat, are all excluded from the scheduling. The ground beneath all these features, however, is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Chandler, G, Liverpool, (1957)
Chandler, G, Liverpool, (1957)
Chandler, G, Liverpool, (1957)
Norris, EJ, The Building of Speke Hall, (1935)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
Nicholson, S. Merseyside SMR, To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, (1991)


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

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].