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Audley's Moat, Endon

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Hall Bank; Henedon; Enedon

In the civil parish of Endon and Stanley.
In the historic county of Staffordshire.
Modern Authority of Staffordshire.
1974 county of Staffordshire.
Medieval County of Staffordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ93125366
Latitude 50.08015° Longitude -2.10410°

Audley's Moat, Endon has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The moated site to the south east of Hallwater House survives well and is unencumbered by modern development. Despite partial infilling, the moat ditches will retain important deposits associated with the occupation and desertion of the site. Structural and artefactual evidence will provide evidence for the buildings which existed on the moated island.
The monument includes a rectangular earthwork moated site situated in the valley of the Endon Brook to the west of a tributary stream channel. The site is orientated north east-south west and has external dimensions of approximately 125m by 75m. A road runs east-west across the northern part of the site. The moat has been mostly infilled but the southern and south western sections remain distinctly visible as shallow depressions. Part of the north eastern corner of the moat can also be traced on the ground surface. The moat ditches are approximately 13m wide and are visible as earthworks up to 1m deep. The moated island has a sub-rectangular plan and is higher than the surrounding ground surface, rising towards its centre. There is a levelled area in the north eastern part of the island defining a small rectangular platform. The moated site is known as 'Audley's Moat' and is thought to be the site of a house belonging to Lord de Audley. (Scheduling Report)

In 1931, four worked flint flakes, now in Hanley Museum, were found 'at Endon, on the site known there as Audley's Moat. The so-called moat is about 400 paces round, and within the moat or ditch there is a raised platform, which, when tested with a stick, proved neutral for a few feet round the edge. Further in towards the centre, a ring of stonework was proved to be about 8 or 10 inches below the surface, and the central space was neutral. Towards the eastern edge of the platform there is a wall of unhewn stone (except those on top) - the only stone wall in the immediate neighbourhood'. The four worked flints were found towards the west fringe. o "It seems probable that we have on this spot some few remains of a 'ring-barrow' or a 'circle' rather than the site of a mediaeval residence' (Inf. B.B. Simms). (Pape 1931-33).
Hallwater Farm which contains the moat had been owned and occupied by my family for several generations before I sold it recently. According to family tradition the moat originally surrounded a hall - the seat of a Lord de Audley. I never knew it referred to as 'Audley's Moat', however, and the name it has gone under has been 'Hall Bank' as far back as I can remember (oral information).
Centred SJ 93125366: The site was located from information given by Mr. J.D. Johnston, local Archaeologist, who knew it as 'Audley's Moat', but who felt uncertain about its purpose and origin. The worked flints said to have been found at the site are not at Hanley Museum, and, according to Mr. A.P. Mountford, the assistant curator, no record exists of their acquisition (F1 DAD 17-SEP-59).
The earthwork consists of a roughly oval, and apparently natural, mound set in a natural water-course. It is orientated NE-SW and has axes of 120.0m by 70.0m. A modern East-West road passed through it. To the north of the road a fragment of encircling ditch has survived on the East side but otherwise any ditch which may have existed there has been obliterated by a complex system of drainage. To the south of the road a well defined ditch with an average width of 7.0m and maximum depth of 0.6m exists around the west and south sides of the earthwork but on the East side the remains have been almost obliterated though traces are discernible extending at a higher level than elsewhere for 40.0m south from the road. Parallel with the well defined portion of ditch on the west and south sides is a narrow 0.4m high platform skirting the foot of the mound, the remaining slopes being either probably natural or scarped. The maximum height of the mound is 2.3m. It is grass-covered and may be a crude and weak form of moated homestead. No remains of a structure were seen on it (F2 JR 29-SEP-59). (PastScape)

Moated Site: A roughly oval mound set in natural water course. Orientated north-east to south-west. Parts of an encircling ditch to the east, but mainly destroyed by drainage system. Parallel with the ditch is a narrow platform skirting the foot of the mound. Possibly a weak and crude moated site. No structural remains. Stonework found by probing within mound. There is a section of stone walling towards the eastern edge of the platform. Flint Scatter: Four worked flints said to have been found on the moat platform in 1931. The finds were reported to be in Hanley Museum, although they have no record of the acquisition (J. Rigg - Ordnance Survey - 1959) (Tape 1931-33).
Tradition associates the site with a hall and the seat of Lord de Audley.
Water control measures and moat evident. Also field boundaries across the site are stone walls whilst all those near by are hedges. Clearly a moated site (Observations by a member of the Historic Environment Team, Staffordshire County Council. 1996)
Magnetometry survey identified two main water pipes as well other modern intrusions. Resisitivity survey appeared to reveal building foundations, including what has been interpreted as possible tower bases. Areas of disturbed results perhaps show fallen walls (Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeology Society. 2012). (Staffordshire HER)

Henry {d' Audley} had a chapel and chantry in Endon and sometime between 1214 and 1219 he obtained a licence, from the bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, to have his children baptised in the chapel. So it is assumed that about this time there must have been a messuage in Endon.
It was Henry who decided in 1219 to found a Cistercian abbey and in 1223 he gave them their charter at Abbey Hulton. This is quite close to Endon.
Although the D'Audley's main residence was Heley Castle and was to remain so for many years, a messuage in Endon was to become the capital messuage (certainly by 1276). Using the IPMs of the Audleys we have the history of the Endon park and messuage as follows:
1273 (IPM of James Henry's elder son) refers to the park and a messuage with garden;
1276 (IPM of Henry's second son, also Henry) refers to the chief messuage and park;
1282 (IPM of William, Henry's third son) refers to a dower house for Lucy (widow of Henry) and possibly Ela, (widow of James above));
A little later Endon Manor was dower for Lucy, widow of Henry (I) and after her death for Eve, widow of Thomas (I);
1299 (IPM of Nicolas, fourth son of Henry) Nicolas held at Endon of Theobald de Verdon, by homage and fealty, the moiety (half) of one park in pourparty;
1308 (IPM of Thomas, Nicolas's first son) Le Holdparke;
1316 (IPM of Nicolas, Nicolas's second son) : two parts of the manor held jointly with his wife, Joan, Countess of Lincoln of the Baroness of Stafford by service of 5s. per annum,
In which said manor there is a certain capital messuage, which is worth by the year........ And there is there a moiety (half) of one park, worth by the year 100s.
Eve held it until 1369. Then from 1391-1400 for Elizabeth (widow of Nicolas III). (Thelma Lancaster in SOTMAS geophysical survey)

Despite the difficulty in identifying the site in the 1930s this is a moated site that can be attributed to the Audley family and clearly associated with a deer park, with several park related placenames nearby. The Audley's caput was Heighley Castle although their original base may have been Audley Castle Hill. The square building foundations found on geophysical survey are suggested as 'tower bases' one has a marked east-west alignment and may represent a recorded chapel the other might be, by analogue with other sites of the same status, a solar chamber block attached to a timber hall. The description in Pape might suggest the site was walled around. Given the Audley's status, at the top end of the gentry, it would seem likely the building would have some martial decoration but it is arguable if this was a fortified site.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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