Moated site at Exhall Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019141

Date first listed: 16-Dec-1999


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Exhall Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Nov-2018 at 07:52:23.


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

County: Warwickshire

District: Nuneaton and Bedworth (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: SP 34404 85336


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 Exhall Hall survives well including earthworks and buried building remains of a variety of features. Whilst the majority of the monument survives as upstanding earthworks, providing information on the size and form of the moated site, those areas of the moat which have been partially infilled will be expected to preserve earlier deposits including evidence of its construction and any re-cutting or alterations which occurred during its active history.

In addition the moat remains waterlogged and will be expected to preserve environmental deposits providing information about the ecosystem and agricultural regimes surrounding the moated site from the medieval period. The buried remains of buildings are believed to survive upon the island, including parts of the earlier manor house and its associated agricultural and ancillary buildings. These will preserve evidence about the dates and methods of construction, occupation and demolition of the manor.

Artefactual evidence will illuminate the social history of the site, while household remains will provide a range of dating evidence as well as insights into the social contacts of the inhabitants of the manor and their daily activities.


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


The monument includes the buried and earthwork remains of the moated site at Exhall Hall located in the valley bottom to the west of the River Sowe, and 450m north east of the parish church.

The moat is compact, sub-rectangular and survives well as a water-filled ditch on all four sides. It is lined with puddled clay. The moat is orientated north to south and measures approximately 60m by 80m. Its arms are of uniform width measuring approximately 10m to 15m wide, except in the south western angle which measures up to 20m. The southern arm of the moat was formerly wider than its present width having been partially infilled after 1880. The moat is supplied by a sluice from the River Sowe running into its north east angle and is drained through a sluice returning to the river from the south east angle. The original access to the moat was by a red sandstone bridge across the western arm of the moat. The bridge is a Listed Building Grade II and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

The moat island is raised 1m above surrounding ground levels. Exhall Hall, a Grade II Listed Building which is a timber frame and brick house dating in parts from the 16th century stands on the island. The hall, and its ancillary domestic buildings are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

The moated site is thought to be the original site of the medieval manor house and the remains of earlier buildings, including buried floor levels are believed to survive in the present gardens. Some of the farm buildings stood outside the moated enclosure to the south west. This area, now a modern housing development, is not included in the scheduling.

Exhall Hall, the sandstone bridge and all modern surfaces and fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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: 30050

Legacy System: RSM


Various SMR Officers, Unpublished notes in SMR files,

End of official listing