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Moated site of Lea Hall, 80m east of Leahall Farm

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Moated site of Lea Hall, 80m east of Leahall Farm

List entry Number: 1016807

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Cheshire West and Chester

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Lea Newbold

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 21-Jan-1999

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 30379

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

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.

History

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

Details

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 platform. 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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
'Medieval Settlement Research Group' in Medieval Settlement Research Group, (1992), 22

National Grid Reference: SJ 43192 58858

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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

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This copy shows the entry on 18-Nov-2017 at 12:06:21.

End of official listing