Moated site of Lea Hall, 80m east of Leahall Farm
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016807 .pdf
The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.
This copy shows the entry on 23-Jul-2019 at 01:33:09.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
- Lea Newbold
- National Grid Reference:
- SJ 43192 58858
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 Lea Hall is in good condition with the remains of the original buildings still visible as low earthworks in the turf on the island. The moat is still waterlogged at the bottom of the ditches and this will have preserved organic deposits and environmental evidence for the use of the platform over a span of 600 years. The infilled western arm of the moat will also contain buried silts and organic remains. The importance of the site is enhanced by a good sequence of documentary evidence of its history as an important manorial complex.
The monument includes the remains of a medieval moated site which was the
location of a timber mansion known as Lea Hall.
The estate for which this was the manor house appears in the Domesday Book as
the property of the Earl of Chester and Bigot of Loges and had lands for seven
ploughs. The estate was seized by Roger de Montalt and remained in his family
until the death of the last baron in 1277 when it passed to the Crown. In 1337
the manor was granted to the Earl of Salisbury, William Montacute. He sold it
to the Calvely family in whose hands it remained until 1714. The house was
described as a `fair ancient timber building' before the Civil War and was
still `an old timber mansion' in 1810. It is not clear when it was built but
it was replaced in 1873 by the present farmhouse 100m to the west. The house
was sufficiently magnificent to put up James I and his retinue in 1617.
The moatplatform is 52m by 43m, surrounded on three sides by a substantial
moat, 12m wide and nearly 3m deep at the north western corner where the moat
has been deepened by re-excavation. The western arm of this moat was infilled
during the 20th century and this will have preserved important silts and
organic evidence for the domestic use of the island. The remaining arms were
full of water until about 1990 and then drained but some water still collects
in the northern arm. On the island there is a roughly rectangular mound 23m by
14m still visible under the turf and this may represent part of the mansion.
The remains will also include those of a chapel which used to stand on the
The moat is surrounded by grassland which has some traces of ridge and furrow
cultivation. On the north and east sides the road has been diverted to respect
the moat. This was the old route from Coddington to Aldford.
The post and wire fences which enclose the moat arms are excluded from the
scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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
'Medieval Settlement Research Group' in Medieval Settlement Research Group, (1992), 22
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