Lighteach moated site and associated water management features


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017007

Date first listed: 27-Sep-1999


Ordnance survey map of Lighteach moated site and associated water management features
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2019 at 17:44:21.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Prees

National Grid Reference: SJ 54475 34524


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.

Lighteach moated site and the associated water management features survive well despite some modification of the water management system. The moated island will retain structural and artefactual evidence of the buildings that once stood on the site, which together with the artefacts and organic remains existing in the moat will, provide valuable information about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains surviving in the moat will also provide information about changes to the local environment and use of the land. The associated fishponds and connecting channels are also significant as they will provide information about the ways in which water was controlled in order to maintain its supply to the moat. The use of these ponds as fishponds will provide additional evidence about the economy and lifestyle of the occupants.


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 and associated water management features, situated in an area of undulating land. The moat surrounds a rectangular island, which measures approximately 47m north-south and 70m east-west. The moat arms have an average width of 14m, with the exception of the western arm which has been widened by later digging principally on its western (outer) side. This part of the moat still retains water. A causeway, 10m wide at its base, at the junction of the northern and eastern moat arms, provided access to the island. Records indicate that a late 16th or early 17th century timber-framed house stood on the north eastern part of the island. It was a two and a half storey, two bay gable-fronted building, the second and attic storeys of which were decorated with diamonds that defined crosses. A gatehouse, with similar decorative framing, formerly stood at the entrance to the moat. Both structures were demolished in the 19th century. It is thought that the house caught fire. Earthworks indicate the location of the house, and although both buildings survive well as buried features, no visible remains exist of the gatehouse. A well was located at the back of the property. Prior to 1700 the house was occupied by John Hill, an apothecary of Wem, and a member of one of the most important and influential families in Shropshire at that time. Two pairs of conjoined fishponds to the west of the moated site acted as reservoirs for the moat, and are likely to have been used for the breeding and storing of fish to provide a sustainable supply of food. The two groups of ponds were connected to one another and to the moat by a series of channels, now largely infilled. The southern group still contains water as does one of the ponds to the north. A ditch 11m wide and 0.5m deep runs south westwards from the corner of the moat and connects with the southern group of ponds. A later drainage trench has been dug along the line of this ditch. Running parallel with this feature is another similar channel, 8m wide and 0.2m deep, which carried water from the northern group of ponds to the moat. A leat 3.5m wide and 0.3m deep runs south eastwards from this set of ponds and joins with the ditch to the south. This defines the western extent of the water management system. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling, these are; all garden features, the summer house, the garden walls, the surface of the tennis court, the modern field boundaries, fences and gates, the corrugated iron animal shelter, and the telegraph and electricity poles; 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: 32306

Legacy System: RSM


Private copy. Not published., (1860)
Private copy. Possibly not published., (1860)
Walley, J, (1998)

End of official listing