Belmont moated site and fishpond


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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

Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)
Great Budworth
National Grid Reference:
SJ 65751 78454

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.

Despite the monument's overgrown appearance the monument survives well, the earthworks in particular remaining well preserved. It is a rare and unusual example in Cheshire of a five-sided moated island. This, coupled with its use as a medieval grange, exemplifies the diversity in form and function of this class of monument. Additionally, organic material will be preserved in the waterlogged moat.


The monument is the Belmont moated site and fishpond. The site includes a five-sided island measuring up to 90m x 60m and surrounded by a rectangular waterlogged moat of widths varying between 4.5m - 30m x 1.5m deep. The moat sides are near vertical and c.1m deep to the water level. Access to the island is by a causeway on the western side. An outer bank flanks the north and much of the western arms of the moat. It measures 7m wide x 1m high adjacent to the north arm, and 4m high x 0.3m wide adjacent to the western arm. In Moat Covert, immediately north of the northern outer bank, is a rectangular waterlogged fishpond measuring some 90m x 30m x 1m deep. The site was granted to Norton Priory by Geoffrey Dutton during the reign of Henry I. It was part of a medieval monastic grange. Field names Abbey Field and Abbots Meadow are associated with the site. All field boundaries and a length of netting and posts flanking the moat's southern arm are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath these features 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
Information from Moated Sites Research Group cards
Dodgson, J, EPNS - The Place Names of Cheshire, (1970)
Ormerod, G, 'History of Cheshire' in History of Cheshire, , Vol. 3, (1882)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
Leigh, R (Site owner), To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, (1991)
SMR No. 668/1/1, Cheshire SMR, Belmont Moat, (1990)
Title: Ordnance Survey Record Card Source Date: 1964 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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

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