Moated site, fishpond and connecting channel, Minshull Vernon

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1012077
Date first listed:
03-Jun-1981
Date of most recent amendment:
17-May-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Moated site, fishpond and connecting channel, Minshull Vernon
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

District:
Cheshire East (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Minshull Vernon
National Grid Reference:
SJ 68907 60287

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 moated site at Minshull Vernon survives in good condition and is a rare example of a double moated site in Cheshire. The unusual form exhibited by this site illustrates well the diversity of this class of monument.

Details

The monument at Minshull Vernon comprises a double moated site of most unusual form, the island of which was formerly occupied by the manor house. The site consists of a grass-covered trapezoidal island measuring c.36m x 27m the surface of which shows traces of faint ridge and furrow, surrounded by a silted inner moat c.6m wide x 1.3m deep. These features lie off-centre within a polygonal dry outer moat c.14m wide, and the whole is surrounded by an outer bank. Dry inlet/outlet channels enter the outer moat at the SE corner and close to the NE corner, while at the SW corner there is a dry inlet/ outlet channel connecting the outer moat with a D-shaped silted fishpond. Most moats were constructed between 1250-1350 and are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor. The moat in such circumstances marked the high status of the owner, but also served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. A post and barbed wire fence crossing the NE corner of the monument and a hedge flanking the S side of the fishpond are excluded from the scheduling. The ground beneath these features, however, 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number:
13440
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Other
Capstick, B., FMW report, (1988)
Cheshire SMR no. 245/1,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)

Legal

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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