Huntington Hall moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Huntington Hall moated site
© 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 West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 41966 63466

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 Huntington Hall survives relatively undamaged and is therefore of high archaeological potential. The waterlogged fishponds and the waterlogged and silted moat provide ideal conditions for the survival of organic remains while the interior will hold evidence of the organisation and development of the original Huntington Hall.


The moated site at Huntington Hall comprises a large slightly irregularly shaped moat 10m wide x 2m deep surrounding a rectangular island 165m E-W x 110m N-S internally subdivided into four enclosures. Most moats were constructed between 1250-1350 and are general seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor. The moat marked the high status of the occupier but also served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. The moat is waterlogged along most of its S arm and the S half of its E arm with the remainder being dry or waterlogged/silted and choked with vegetation. It drains through outlet channels at the NW and SW corners. An outer bank encircles the moat apart from the SE where landscaping has been undertaken. Access to the island is via a sandstone bridge and a causeway, (both included in the scheduling), both of which lead into the E enclosure. Two dry ditches running N - S divide the island into enclosures with the W enclosure containing three waterfilled fishponds complete with dams and outlet channels. The central enclosure is further divided by a dry E-W ditch linking the N-S ditches. In medieval times the site was owned by the church and was referred to in 1348 as `the grange of the abbot of Chester at Huntington'. All fences and hedges surrounding the monument 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.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Longley, D, The Victoria History of the County of Cheshire, (1980)
Cheshire SMR RN 1944/1/2,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)


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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