Moated site of Scarisbrick Hall.


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Lancashire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 39087 12816

Reasons for Designation

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 the tree growth on the island of this site, considerable evidence of the building originally located on it will survive. Additionally waterlogged material will be preserved in those surviving sections of the moat.


The monument is the moated site of the original Scarisbrick Hall and is located in Old Wood, some 140m NW of the modern Scarisbrick Hall. The site includes a tree and scrub covered island measuring c.100m x 50m flanked on the SW and NW sides by a waterlogged moat. The SW arm is c.18m max. width x 3m deep while the NW arm measures c.4m wide x 1.5m max. depth. The moat's NE arm is formed by the Eas Brook, in the banks of which a considerable amount of dressed stone is visible. Dumping has obliterated all traces of a SE arm and has infilled the S end of the SW arm. Scarisbrick Hall was originally a half-timbered 11th/12th century manor house. It is mentioned in an early 13th century deed when it was in the possession of Walter de Scarisbrick.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Steane, M A, 'Transactions of the Historical Society of Lancashire & Cheshire' in Excavations At A Moated Site Near Scarisbrick, , Vol. CXII, (1960), 147-53
Bulpit, Rev. W T, Notes on Southport and District, 1908,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
PRN 804, Lancashire SMR, Old Wood, Scarisbrick Hall, (1984)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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