Moated site at Leigh Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019010

Date first listed: 07-Jun-2000


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Leigh Hall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1019010 .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 16-Jan-2019 at 22:43:38.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Worthen with Shelve

National Grid Reference: SJ 33317 03629


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 Leigh Hall survives well despite some recent disturbance from agricultural practices. Archaeological investigation of the site has confirmed the nature, extent and date of structural remains and associated deposits existing on the moated island. These remains, together with artefacts and organic remains surviving on the island and in the moat, will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surface under the external banks, and within the moat, will also provide information about the changes to the local environment and the use of the land before and after the moated site was constructed. The importance of the site is further enhanced by late medieval documentary sources which provide ownership information.


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


The monument includes the earthwork, standing structural and buried remains of a medieval moated site. The moated site is considered to be the later centre of the manor of Leigh, probably constructed in the early 14th century by Robert Corbet, who by 1324 had become the local Member of Parliament. The Corbets of Leigh held the manor until 1748. By 1667-68 the manor house was described as `lately burnt, destroyed or demolished', possibly the result of damage in the Civil War. The adjacent farmhouse at Leigh Hall, constructed in the late 17th century, was built to replace the former manor house. It is a Listed Building Grade II and not included in the scheduling. The moated site is situated on level ground on the southern side of the Rea Brook valley, with extensive views of the valley and the uplands to the north and west. The moat, which retains water, defines a rectangular island approximately 45m south west - north east by 80m north west - south east. The arms of the moat are between 10m and 13m wide and have been revetted with stone. The south eastern arm and the southern portion of the south western arm have largely been filled in, but survive as buried features. Material excavated from the moat has been used to create external banks which bound the north eastern and north western moat arms. The north eastern bank stands to a height of 1.6m. The modern causeway across the north western arm is believed to follow the original means of access onto the island. Wall footings and the remains of collapsed walls of stone and brick survive around much of the perimeter of the island, indicating ranges of buildings set around a courtyard. The short upstanding section of stone wall, which is Listed Grade II, survives to a height of 2.5m. It is thought to date from the 14th or 15th century and incorporates earlier fragments of dressed sandstone. The site was the subject of a detailed archaeological survey in 1977-78 when a small-scale archaeological excavation across the north western arm of the moat was also carried out prior to the partial dredging of the moat. This investigation revealed that the moat had been repeatedly cleaned prior to the deposition of building rubble during the 17th and 18th centuries. There are a number of features which are excluded from the scheduling, these are: all modern boundary walls, fences and gates, all modern domestic and agricultural buildings constructed over the southern part of the moat, the surface of the causeway crossing the north western moat arm and the surface of the farm track next to the south eastern and north eastern moat arms, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 32324

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Burrow, I, 'Medieval Settlement Research Group' in Leigh Hall Farm, , Vol. 5, (1979), 20-22

End of official listing