Moated site and cultivation remains 310m north west of Mossley Well Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019651

Date first listed: 09-Mar-2001


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and cultivation remains 310m north west of Mossley Well Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Whixall

National Grid Reference: SJ 49935 35330


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 and cultivation remains 310m north west of Mossley Well Farm survive well, despite some later modification. The moated island will retain buried evidence of the buildings that once stood on the site, which together with the associated artefacts and organic remains will provide valuable evidence about the occupation and social status of the inhabitants of the site. Organic remains surviving in the buried ground surface under the raised interior, and within the moat, will provide information about the changes to the local environment and the use of the land before and after the moated site was constructed. The relationship between the moated site and the cultivation remains demonstrates the nature of farming in the area after the moated site had ceased to be occupied.


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 later ridge and furrow cultivation remains 370m north west of Mossley Well Farm. The moated site is situated on a gradual north west facing slope in an area of gently undulating land, about 200m south of the the edge of Whixall Moss. The moat is dry except for the south eastern arm. It defines a rectangular island approximately 25m south west-north east by 30m north west-south east. It would appear that the island was originally about 30sq m with all the moat arms between 8m and 12m wide. The north eastern arm appears to have been widened in modern times. Material excavated from the moat has been used to raise the surface of the island by up to 0.5m above the level of the surrounding land. The field in which the moated site is situated was once in arable cultivation and the remains of narrow post-medieval cultivation strips, aligned north west-south east, cross the moated site partially infilling and slightly altering the profile of the south western and north western moat arms. A 15m wide sample of this cultivation system to the north west and north east of the moated site has been included in the scheduling to preserve the relationship between it and the moated site. All fence and gate posts and the electricity poles 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. 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: 33827

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Leah, M , The Wetlands of Shropshire and Staffordshire, (1998), 16-18

End of official listing