Ancient Monuments

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Mossborough Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Rainford, St. Helens

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Latitude: 53.4846 / 53°29'4"N

Longitude: -2.8078 / 2°48'27"W

OS Eastings: 346494.983632

OS Northings: 398953.846155

OS Grid: SJ464989

Mapcode National: GBR 8XT4.XL

Mapcode Global: WH86X.VP40

Entry Name: Mossborough Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012322

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13487

County: St. Helens

Civil Parish: Rainford

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Rainford All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument is the moated site of Mossborough Hall. It includes an island
surrounded on three sides by a predominantly dry moat some 3m deep. The
island is c.30m square and is largely occupied by Mossborough Hall. The
moat's southwest arm measures some 14m wide and is crossed by a causeway at
its mid-point. The northeast arm measures c.12m wide and is crossed by a
causeway close to its north corner. Northwest of this causeway the moat is
presently waterlogged. The southeast arm measures some 10m wide across its
base. The northwest arm has been infilled and covered with asphalt.
Mossborough Hall was owned by the de Lathom family from the late 13th - late
17th centuries. It was ransacked by troops during the reign of Elizabeth I.
In the early 18th century it was owned by the Molyneux family and in 1765 it
was purchased by the Earl of Derby who demolished the house. The present
building dates from the 1850s.
Mossborough Hall is a Listed Building Grade II.
Mossborough Hall, its outbuildings, all service pipes and brick support
pillars; all paths, driveways, hedges, walls and fences; two timber structures
at the moat's east corner; the steps and ornamental pond in the southeast arm;
and an asphalt surfaced area used for parking vehicles west of the hall are
all excluded from the scheduling. The ground beneath all these features,
however, 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 infilling of the moat's northwest arm Mossborough Hall moated site
survives in good condition. The monument has been virtually continuously
occupied for almost 700 years and remains of at least two earlier building
phases will exist on the island and beneath the present hall.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Baines, E, The History of Lancashire, (1836)
Farrer, , Brownbill, , The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire, (1907)
3/18, St Helens Planning Department, Listed Buildings File,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
Mr. Heyes (Site occupier), To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, (1991)
SMR No. 4698/1, Merseyside SMR, Mossborough Hall,

Source: Historic England

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