Ancient Monuments

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Micklehead Green moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Bold, St. Helens

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Latitude: 53.4162 / 53°24'58"N

Longitude: -2.7381 / 2°44'17"W

OS Eastings: 351035.985911

OS Northings: 391299.88809

OS Grid: SJ510912

Mapcode National: GBR 9X9Y.Z3

Mapcode Global: WH87B.XD9D

Entry Name: Micklehead Green moated site

Scheduled Date: 17 December 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012329

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13489

County: St. Helens

Electoral Ward/Division: Bold

Built-Up Area: St Helens

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Sutton St Nicholas

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument is Micklehead Green moated site, alternatively known as the Moat
House, Sutton, or St Michael's House. The site includes much of an island
that originally measured c.104m x 60m. Recent land improvement has resulted
in levelling of the eastern side of the island to the extent that no surface
traces of the island or the moat's eastern arm are visible. The surviving
part of the island contains brick and sandstone structural remains of the
post-medieval St Michael's House protruding above the surface. An ornamental
low stone wall lies close to the island's southwest corner. The moat is dry
throughout. Its southern arm is partially infilled but extends eastwards for
some 20m. The western and northern arms measure c.9m wide x 1.6m deep. The
northern arm extends eastwards for c.45m but has been infilled for the
remainder of its length. A secondary eastern arm 12m long x 4.5m wide x 0.9m
deep and stone-lined on its outer face has been created at the end of the
extant length of the northern arm.
The Moat House was the birth place of John Wyke, famous for developing the
wheel-cutting engine used in the watch trade. The original extent of the moat
was in existence in the mid 19th century but by 1896 it had been modified to
its present appearance.
All fences and hedges are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath
them is included. The ruins of the post-medieval buildings are also included
in the scheduling because any disturbance to them is likely to damage
underlying medieval remains.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 having been subjected to land improvement that has obliterated traces
of its eastern end, evidence of the original medieval structure that occupied
the site will exist on the island and beneath the post-medieval St Michael's
House. Additionally the monument is unusual in exhibiting two phases of moat

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Farrer, W, Brownbill, J, The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire, (1914)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Letter to Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, Hepworth, R.C. (Borough of St Helens), Land at Micklehead Green, (1991)
SMR No. 5191/1, Merseyside SMR, St Michael's House, Sutton,
Title: Ordnance Survey 25": 1 mile
Source Date: 1896

Title: Ordnance Survey 6": 1 mile sheet 108
Source Date: 1849

Source: Historic England

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