Old Hall Heys moated site


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Old Hall Heys moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 49403 49152

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.

Old Hall Heys moated site survives in good condition and is a rare example in Cheshire of a small homestead moat that is double moated on two sides. The unusual form exhibited by this site illustrates well the diversity of this class of monument.


Old Hall Heys comprises a small homestead moated site additionally enclosed on two sides by an outer moat. The monument consists of a raised grass covered island 38m x 43m containing a low mound at both the NW and SW corners and faint surface traces of ridge and furrow. The island is surrounded on all sides by a dry moat 10-12m wide and up to 2m deep. A dry outer moat 10m max. width x 0.6m deep runs along the W and SW sides and is separated from the inner moat by a bank 6m wide x 0.6m high. A natural spring that originally fed the moat lies at the N end of the outer moat in a swampy triangular depression. An outer bank flanks the N side of the moat and continues around the W and SW sides flanking the outer moat. The monument is situated in a field known as Hall Heys from late medieval documents. Local tradition claims that it is the site of the original house of the Dods of Edge, although it is not certain that this family did hold it before 1600. 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. Two telegraph poles and fencing surrounding the spring are excluded from the scheduling as is the buried Vyrnwy Aqueduct pipeline that crosses the SE corner of the moat. The ground beneath all 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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Capstick, B., FMW Report, (1987)
Cheshire SMR No. 1680,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Mr Wolley Dod (Site owner), (1986)


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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