Moated site, fishpond and connecting channel at Alderhedge Wood


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


Ordnance survey map of Moated site, fishpond and connecting channel at Alderhedge Wood
© 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)
Aston By Budworth
National Grid Reference:
SJ 68461 80176

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.

Despite being covered by trees and vegetation the original form of the monument's earthworks is still clearly evident. Organic material will be preserved within the waterlogged moat and fishpond and further structural remains and environmental indicators will be preserved within the buried land surface beneath the island and outer banks.


The monument at Alderhedge Wood includes an island, moat, fishpond and connecting channel. The island measures c.29m square and is raised up to 1m above the surrounding land. It is wooded with a bracken and bramble undergrowth. The island is surrounded by a waterlogged moat 10-12m wide x 1.4m deep that is part of a complex water management system which sees silted channels on the moat's NE corner, N arm, W arm, and close to the SW and SE corners. Outer banks exist on the W and E sides while a substantial bank c.4m wide x 1m high flanks the S arm. Immediately S of this is a silted channel/drain c.3m wide running parallel to the moat and connecting with the channel close to the moat's SW corner. A waterlogged rectangular fishpond c.34m x 20m lies immediately to the S and is connected to the channel/drain by a short channel. A further silted channel enters the pond's E side. The monument was constructed during the early 14th century. 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
Burton, J, Aston-by-Budworth The Moated Site A Survey and Research Report, (1982)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
SJ68SE1, Wilson, D., Moated Sites Research Group Record Card (SJ68SE1), (1973)
SMR NO. 1201/0/1, Cheshire SMR (No 1201/0/1), (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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