Ancient Monuments

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Irby Hall moated site, Wirral

A Scheduled Monument in Greasby, Frankby and Irby, Wirral

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Latitude: 53.3509 / 53°21'3"N

Longitude: -3.1196 / 3°7'10"W

OS Eastings: 325567.49288

OS Northings: 384360.89367

OS Grid: SJ255843

Mapcode National: GBR 6YNP.DJ

Mapcode Global: WH76F.11RG

Entry Name: Irby Hall moated site, Wirral

Scheduled Date: 31 December 1987

Last Amended: 10 May 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012628

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13427

County: Wirral

Electoral Ward/Division: Greasby, Frankby and Irby

Built-Up Area: Heswall

Traditional County: Cheshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Merseyside

Church of England Parish: Thurstaston St Bartholomew

Church of England Diocese: Chester


The monument comprises the moated site which preceded Irby Hall, a building of
early 17th century date known to have been built on the site of an 11th
century manor and courthouse of St Werburgh Abbey.
This site, like the nearby moated site at Bromborough, indicates St Werburgh's
control over this area of the Wirral in medieval times.
The moat is a striking example of its type, being 12-15m max. width x 2.7m
deep with a causeway across its S arm and a prominent outer bank 1m high. It
is now dry. Much of the moated island is given over to lawns and is largely
free of modern encumbrance, however, a private dwelling known as Barnstables
occupies the NE corner of the island and Irby Hall lies at the centre of the
island. Irby Hall is a Grade II Listed Building.
The Hall, its access drive and outbuilding, Barnstables, the shed and all
walls and fences are 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.

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.

The moat at Irby Hall is a particularly large and impressive earthwork
surrounding the site of an 11th century manor and courthouse of St Werburgh's
Abbey. This monument, together with a similar moated site at nearby
Bromborough, testify to the Abbey's dominance and control of this area of the
Wirral in medieval times, while the size of the monument contrasts markedly
with smaller privately owned homestead moats, reflecting the affluence of the
church and the diversity in size and function of this class of monument.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Beazley, F C, 'History Society Lancs and Cheshire' in Trans. History Society Lancs And Cheshire, , Vol. 75, (1923)
Capstick, B, AM 107, (1985)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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