Northwood Hall double moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019606

Date first listed: 10-Oct-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 03-Apr-2000


Ordnance survey map of Northwood Hall double moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2018 at 23:44:49.


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

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wem Rural

National Grid Reference: SJ 49271 31088


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 double moated site at Northwood Hall is one of only two such sites in Shropshire: a moated site situated within a larger moated enclosure. Despite disturbance from modern agricultural activities it remains a good example of this class of monument. The moated island and its enclosure 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 moats will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surface under the outer banks, below the raised parts of the interior and in the moats will also provide information about changes to the local environment and use of the land before and after the moated site was constructed.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a small moated site situated within a large moated enclosure. It stands in an area of undulating land and has been constructed on a gentle south facing slope. The large moated enclosure has external dimensions of approximately 110m east-west by 120m north-south. The moat arms are essentially dry and define a rectangular area which measures approximately 75m east-west and 94m north-south. This enclosure, with the exception of much of the western arm, has been reduced by ploughing and infilled with soil and modern building rubble. The arms of the moat are between 9m and 12m wide and some of the material excavated has been used to create outer banks which run parallel with the southern and eastern arms. These banks are about 4m wide and survive to a maximum height of 0.7m, and have also been reduced by ploughing. Access to the enclosure was by means of a 4m wide causeway, located slightly to the south of the mid point of the western arm.

A small, square moated site is situated close to the eastern side of the large enclosure. It defines a rectangular island, which measures approximately 27m north-south and 30m east-west. The moat arms are between 10m and 13m wide, all contain water, except the southern arm which has been partly infilled. The eastern arm has been extended in order to connect this moat with the outer one. Material excavated from these moats has been used to create a raised area in the north eastern corner of the outer moated enclosure. The thin strip of ground between the two moats has been similarly heightened. In the northern part of the large enclosure two oblong ponds have been constructed. They appear to define a narrow walkway to control access onto the inner island. The eastern pond has been infilled but survives as a buried feature.

There are a number of features which are excluded from the scheduling, these are: modern fences, gates and modern garden features; 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: 32319

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing