Ancient Monuments

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Winstanley moated site and five fishponds

A Scheduled Monument in Winstanley, Wigan

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Latitude: 53.5267 / 53°31'36"N

Longitude: -2.6905 / 2°41'25"W

OS Eastings: 354318.399898

OS Northings: 403560.979267

OS Grid: SD543035

Mapcode National: GBR 9WNN.9H

Mapcode Global: WH86S.MMZ6

Entry Name: Winstanley moated site and five fishponds

Scheduled Date: 28 September 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007600

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22481

County: Wigan

Electoral Ward/Division: Winstanley

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Highfield St Matthew

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument is Winstanley moated site and five associated fishponds. It is
divided into two separate areas. The moated site includes a rectangular island
measuring c.50m by 40m that is surrounded on three sides by a waterlogged moat
up to 15m wide and 1m deep to the water level. The moat's southern arm is dry
and has been partially infilled. There is an inlet channel at the moat's
north-western corner and an outlet channel at the north-eastern corner.
Flanking the waterlogged moat is an outer bank up to 10m wide and 1m high.
Access to the island is by a causeway on the western arm. To the north-east of
the moat, in Workshop Wood, is a series of five waterlogged fishponds. These
are believed to be contemporary with the moated site.
In 1212 the extensive manor of Billinge and Winstanley had been divided into
three. One manor was held by Adam de Billinge and two subordinate manors were
held by Simon and Roger de Winstanley. The Winstanleys remained at the moated
site until the late 16th century when a new building, the present Winstanley
Hall, was completed 400m to the south. All fences, fence posts, and a timber
shed on the island are excluded from the scheduling although the ground
beneath all these features is included.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Despite some disturbance to the island by tree roots and partial cleaning and
infilling of the moat, Winstanley moated site and its associated fishponds
survive well. Evidence of the original buildings will exist upon the island
and the waterlogged moat and fishponds will contain organic material.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1988)
Dennison, E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Fishponds, (1988)
SMR No. 4659/2/0, Gt Manchester SMR, Moat in Winstanley Park, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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