Ancient Monuments

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Barrow Old Hall moated site, Great Sankey

A Scheduled Monument in Great Sankey, Warrington

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Latitude: 53.4013 / 53°24'4"N

Longitude: -2.6606 / 2°39'38"W

OS Eastings: 356176.484873

OS Northings: 389586.286884

OS Grid: SJ561895

Mapcode National: GBR 9YV3.SG

Mapcode Global: WH98J.3RBW

Entry Name: Barrow Old Hall moated site, Great Sankey

Scheduled Date: 22 October 1970

Last Amended: 13 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013363

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13434

County: Warrington

Civil Parish: Great Sankey

Built-Up Area: Warrington

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cheshire

Church of England Parish: Great Sankey St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument comprises a moated site the island of which was formerly occupied
by Barrow Old Hall. The hall was completely rebuilt on at least one occasion
and towards the end of the 19th century was converted into a country cottage,
finally being demolished in the 1960's. Limited excavation in 1986-7 found
remains of a 17th century structure and evidence for earlier buildings.
The moat is 12m max. width, waterlogged on three sides but has been infilled
on the N. A short length of inlet/outlet channel links the moat with a
tributary of Whittle Brook. The island is grassed over and measures c.40m x
50m. It is approached on the W by a restored bridge originally of early 19th
century date.
Most moats were constructed between 1250-1350 and are generally seen as the
prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor. Barrow Old Hall is one of
six moated sites in the medieval township of Bold. The earliest dated
reference to an estate at Barrow is 1330. Its medieval associations with the
principal manor of Bold Old Hall and its position on the edge of the township
suggest that its development as a moated site may have occurred late in the
medieval period.
All fences and the concrete setting for the information board are excluded
from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath 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.

The moated site at Barrow Old Hall was one of a group of six moated sites in
the former township of Bold and is of importance because it represents a rare
and unusual example in NW England of a large number of moated sites in one
township. In addition the monument retains considerable archaeological
potential for the recovery of evidence of building foundations within its
interior and for the recovery of organic material from the waterlogged moat.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grealey, S, The Archaeology of Warrington's Past, (1976)
Cheshire SMR No. 568/1,
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Moats, (1989)
Pagination 1, Application for SMC, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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