Lovel's Hall moated site and fishpond, Widnes


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014390

Date first listed: 08-Jan-1971

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Aug-1996


Ordnance survey map of Lovel's Hall moated site and fishpond, Widnes
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Halton (Unitary Authority)

National Grid Reference: SJ 47873 84782


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.

Lovel's Hall moated site remains in relatively undamaged condition and untouched by modern development. The earthworks survive well and the monument is a good example of a small single-homestead type moated site and fishpond. Despite some plough damage to the upper levels of deposits, considerable remains of the buildings which formerly occupied the island will survive.


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


The monument comprises a moated site formerly occupied by Lovel's Hall, said to be the residence of Francis Lovel, who was created Viscount Lovel by Richard III in 1483. Lovel's Hall moated site consists of a mainly grassy platform c.50m square surrounded by a dry moat up to c.23m wide x 1.6m deep. On the east side a rectangular extension of the moat measuring c.15m long x 8m wide x 1m deep is interpreted as a fishpond. A low bank 0.1m high x 1m wide crosses the platform from west-east and is thought to represent a former field boundary. 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 fence running north-south across the west half of the monument is excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath the fence 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: 13435

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Poole, C, Old Widnes and its Neighbourhood, (1906)
Capstick, B., FMW Report, (1987)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)

End of official listing