Ancient moat restored to former glory on Shropshire estate

James Thompson, managing director of Sansaw Estate was alerted by archaeologists to the site’s centuries-old significance.

The area in Hadnall had been sold to Galliers to construct a new housing development but James – with support from Historic England, Shropshire Council and Hadnall Parish Council – bought back the land and kicked off a two-year campaign of restoration.

By 2016 the moat had become heavily overgrown with trees and scrub and was very difficult to appreciate on the ground. As part of the planning permission for the Hadnall moat development, Sansaw Estate was able to work with Historic England and the local councils to clear this vegetation and conserve the monument in a sensitive way.

The restoration has involved clearing the overgrown site, cleaning the moat out, planting traditional hedging, reseeding the site of the old Manor House, and now ensuring that the site is maintained to a high standard.

Last week James was joined by Hadnall parish councillors to celebrate the restoration and unveil a display shedding light on the moat’s fascinating history.

“Since the mid-1800s the Sansaw Estate has been a proud custodian of this land and we are delighted to restore this historic moat to its former glory,” James said.

“First documented nearly 700 years ago, we want the moat to be protected and enjoyed for generations to come. We always knew it existed but we’re pleased we can show visitors how it would have looked in its heyday.”

By James Pugh

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.