Monks Lane moated site, Acton


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


Ordnance survey map of Monks Lane moated site, Acton
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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 62922 53154

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 at Monks Lane is an intact moated site in a very good state of preservation and unencumbered by modern building. The site possesses considerable archaeological potential for the recovery of evidence of structural foundations of the medieval vicarage that originally occupied the island. This monument is a good example of a small homestead moat and its use as a vicarage illustrates the functional diversity of this class of monument.


The monument at Monks Lane comprises a well-preserved moated site possessing an original causeway. The site consists of a raised island measuring 40m x 20m said to have been the site of a building used as a medieval vicarage. The island is grass- covered with a line of fruit trees in its S half and a square hollow indicating former limited excavations in its W half. It is surrounded by a waterlogged moat up to 10m wide x 1.5m deep into which a small weir has recently been constructed at the NE corner. Access to the island is via a causeway across the moat at the centre of the E arm. 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 occupier, but also served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. The weir and its surrounding wooden fence are excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath 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:
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Books and journals
Hall, J, 'JCNWA and H S' in J C N W A H S, , Vol. 15, (1909), 64
Capstick, B, FMW Report, (1988)
Capstick, B., AM107, (1986)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Williams, S R, Acton 2, 6, 7, 8., (1977)


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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