Moated site at Upton Grange, Upton


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012123

Date first listed: 06-Jan-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 21-Mar-1991


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Upton Grange, Upton
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Upton-by-Chester

National Grid Reference: SJ 42387 69152


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Much of the moated site at Upton Grange survives well. The moat is well defined for most of its length and is of high archaeological potential providing ideal conditions for the survival of organic remains in its waterlogged and silted stretches. The island will hold evidence of the internal layout of the site and traces of the bridge noted in oral tradition may also exist on the E side of the monument.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The moated site at Upton Grange comprises much of the island originally measuring c.115m x 105m together with the surrounding moat which has been partially infilled on its SW side. That part of the island overlain by modern domestic and farm buildings is not included. Moated sites are generally 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. Most moats were constructed between 1250 and 1350. The spring fed moat at Upton Grange remains waterfilled at its N and part of its S sides but is predominantly dry at its E side and is considerably scrub choked and tree lined throughout. Ridge and furrow run E-W across the SE part of the island and there are traces of what is thought to be an internal pond with inlet/outlet channels running E-W and N-S. Oral tradition claims the moat was once bridged by a timber structure on its E side but no visible evidence to support this now exists. All field boundaries, property boundaries and fences are excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath these features 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: 13415

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Longley, D, The Victoria History of the County of Cheshire, (1980)
Cheshire SMR, RN 1919,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Mr. Dutton, 10-5-1990,

End of official listing