Ightfield Hall moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016830

Date first listed: 07-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Ightfield Hall moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Jan-2019 at 17:43:43.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ightfield

National Grid Reference: SJ 59964 39387


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.

Ightfield Hall moated site is a well-preserved example of this class of monument. The moat island will retain structural and artefactual evidence for the buildings that stood on the site which, together with the artefacts and organic remains existing in the moat, will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of its inhabitants. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surface under the raised interior and within the moat itself will also provide information about changes in the local environment and land use before and after the moated site was constructed. The importance of the site is enhanced by documentary sources which provide detailed ownership information.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a medieval moated site. It is believed to be the manorial centre of Ightfield Manor, which is listed in the Domesday survey among the manors held by Gerald de Tournay. In the early 13th century it was held by Walter Hose (Hussey) and Robert de Ightfield. In the mid-15th century Ightfield manor house became the principal seat of the Mainwarings, who were an important and influential family in Shropshire. It remained in their ownership until 1707 when it was sold to the Needhams (the Earls of Kilmorey) and then purchased by the Heywood-Lonsdales in 1884. Documentary sources also indicate that the manor house lay within a park, which in the mid-16th century was noted as being extensively wooded. The moated site is situated in an area of undulating land and was constructed on a gentle south east-facing slope. The moat arms, which average 23m in width, are now dry, with the exception of the south western corner where a pond has been created. The moat defines a rectangular island, approximately 44m south west-north east and 60m north west-south east. Material excavated from the moat has been used to raise the surface of the island by about 1.5m above the surrounding ground level. The inner moat sides defining the northern half of the island survive to a height of 3m. The eastern half of the north eastern arm is less pronounced because of later infilling. A concrete cattle trough in the base of the south eastern arm and the associated brick-built retaining walls have also altered the original profile of this part of the moat. Access to the island is by means of a causeway across the south eastern moat arm. Under it runs a culvert that carried water from the pond to the cattle trough. There is a further causeway across the south western arm which is believed to be of modern date. Much of the island is occupied by buildings. Ightfield Hall is a farmhouse probably dating to the late 17th century which was extended in the 19th century. It is a Grade II Listed Building and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. A stone inscribed with the date 1579 was built into the exterior wall of the extended portion of the house. This stone is considered to have come from an earlier structure that stood on the site. To west of the hall there is a former stable, now a store, of probable 17th or 18th century date but incorporating earlier materials. It is also Listed Grade II and excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included. Other ancillary structures date to the 19th and 20th centuries. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling, these are; Ightfield Hall and its associated outbuildings and garden features, all modern field boundaries and gates, the surfaces of the causeways and the yard surfaces, electricity poles, the concrete cattle trough and the associated retaining walls; the ground beneath all these features is, however, 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: 32303

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Shropshire: Volume I, (1908), 493
Barson, S, Bond, R, The Historical Development of Ightfield Hall Barn, Ightfield, (1997)

End of official listing