Moated site of Handsacre Hall.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012430

Date first listed: 28-Feb-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 30-Dec-1992


Ordnance survey map of Moated site of Handsacre Hall.
© 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.

County: Staffordshire

District: Lichfield (District Authority)

Parish: Armitage with Handsacre

National Grid Reference: SK 08993 15649

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 survives well and remains unencumbered by modern development. Evidence of the original medieval structure that occupied the site will exist on the island and beneath the brick and sandstone building remains. Additionally organic material will survive within the waterlogged moat.


The monument is the moated site of Handsacre Hall. The site includes an island measuring c.54m by 53m that contains brick and sandstone structural remains of Handsacre Hall protruding above the surface. The island is surrounded by a substantial moat 8-10m wide and 4m deep that remains waterlogged in its eastern and southern arms and at the south-western corner. The western half of the northern arm has been infilled. Elsewhere the moat is dry. Flanking the moat's western arm is an outer bank measuring up to 7m wide by 1m high. The Handsacre family lived in Handsacre prior to the Norman Conquest. During the 14th century a cruck hall occupied the island. Handsacre Hall was rebuilt at an unspecified date and latterly became a farm. The building was demolished during the mid 1960s. All fences are excluded from the scheduling; the ground beneath them, however, is included. The ruins of the brick and sandstone building phase of Handsacre Hall are also included in the scheduling because any disturbance to them is likely to damage underlying medieval remains.

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: 13506

Legacy System: RSM


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
SMR No. 220, Staffs SMR, Handsacre Hall: Armitage with Handsacre,

End of official listing