Bruera moated site and adjacent field system


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


Ordnance survey map of Bruera moated site and adjacent field system
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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 43630 60543

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 Buerton is a rare example in Cheshire of the survival of a moated site together with an extensive complex of contemporary fields. In addition the site possesses an unusually well documented history with details of ownership and information regarding arrangements of the manor house and associated buildings and land use.


The monument at Buerton includes a well preserved moated site with an extensive complex of contemporary fields. The moated site consists of a raised island c.65m x 45-55m, the E half of which is now occupied by two cottages with gardens. In the W half is a small sewage plant. A dry, well defined moat, 20m max depth x c.1.4m deep with an outlet channel at its SW corner, exists on all sides but has been partly infilled on the E where it runs through the cottage gardens. Well preserved outer banks lie on all but the E side. An unusual feature at this monument is the rare survival of a large area around the moat defined by a scarp 0.6m high that formed the associated fields or closes. Four fields are recognised that contain water channels, cultivation beds, ridge and furrow. A document of 1430 indicates that a cow-house and an orchard were then located within these fields. Most moats were constructed between 1250-1350 and it is to this period that this example is likely to date. The place name Buerton was first documented c.1220-30 and the moated site was initially the manorial residence of a branch of the Pulford family. Documentary evidence of 1430 gives details of the house which comprised a hall within the main building, an upper room and an adjoining suite of rooms. Access was by an entrance bridge. The house declined as a residence in the late 15th century. The two cottages and associated outbuildings and sewage plant occupying the island are excluded from the scheduling, as are all telegraph poles, all fences, and hedged field boundaries. 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.

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Books and journals
Cheshire Sheaf, (1930)
RCHME, , Moat and Settlement Remains at Bruera, (1986)
Ormerod, G, 'History of Cheshire' in History of Cheshire, , Vol. 3, (1882)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Title: 1st Edition 1" Source Date: 1842 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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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