Ancient Monuments

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The Moat House moated site 600m WNW of St David's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Haigh, Wigan

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Latitude: 53.5769 / 53°34'36"N

Longitude: -2.6051 / 2°36'18"W

OS Eastings: 360032.760283

OS Northings: 409088.524142

OS Grid: SD600090

Mapcode National: GBR BW72.TJ

Mapcode Global: WH97R.YCN7

Entry Name: The Moat House moated site 600m WNW of St David's Church

Scheduled Date: 17 July 1996

Last Amended: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020055

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27587

County: Wigan

Civil Parish: Haigh

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater Manchester

Church of England Parish: Haigh and Aspull St David

Church of England Diocese: Liverpool


The monument includes a moated site at Haigh. At present the island is
occupied by an 18th century house, which is a Listed Building Grade II, with a
small cellar and outbuildings to the north. Although there is no documentary
evidence of the original occupation, the island was the site of a medieval
The moat is now dry and preserved as a garden feature. It is square with each
side measuring 50m on the outside. The sides are stone lined to a depth of
0.75m and on average the moat is 1.5m deep and 8m wide. Material thrown up by
the excavation of the moat appears to have been placed to the south to build
up the side of the watercourse into a shallow dam.
On the southern corner of the east side there is a causewayed entrance to
take service traffic. This is not original. On the north side, almost in the
centre, there are the remains of a stone bridge beneath the outbuilding which
lies over the moat. This may represent the original approach to the island.
The house and its outbuildings are excluded from the scheduling, although the
ground beneath them 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 Moat House moated site 600m WNW of St David's Church survives well in
spite of the continuing use of the island for a dwelling from the 18th century
to the present. The bottom of the moat will contain silts which will have
preserved remains of the medieval occupation, and the island platform will
have significant evidence of the earlier buildings on the site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Farrer, J, Brownbill, W (eds), The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire: Volume II, (1908), 550
RCHME, , Upton Heath, (1989)
Collens, J ,

Source: Historic England

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