Mossborough Hall moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Mossborough Hall moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

St. Helens (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SJ 46497 98952

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 infilling of the moat's northwest arm Mossborough Hall moated site survives in good condition. The monument has been virtually continuously occupied for almost 700 years and remains of at least two earlier building phases will exist on the island and beneath the present hall.


The monument is the moated site of Mossborough Hall. It includes an island surrounded on three sides by a predominantly dry moat some 3m deep. The island is c.30m square and is largely occupied by Mossborough Hall. The moat's southwest arm measures some 14m wide and is crossed by a causeway at its mid-point. The northeast arm measures c.12m wide and is crossed by a causeway close to its north corner. Northwest of this causeway the moat is presently waterlogged. The southeast arm measures some 10m wide across its base. The northwest arm has been infilled and covered with asphalt. Mossborough Hall was owned by the de Lathom family from the late 13th - late 17th centuries. It was ransacked by troops during the reign of Elizabeth I. In the early 18th century it was owned by the Molyneux family and in 1765 it was purchased by the Earl of Derby who demolished the house. The present building dates from the 1850s. Mossborough Hall is a Listed Building Grade II. Mossborough Hall, its outbuildings, all service pipes and brick support pillars; all paths, driveways, hedges, walls and fences; two timber structures at the moat's east corner; the steps and ornamental pond in the southeast arm; and an asphalt surfaced area used for parking vehicles west of the hall are all excluded from the scheduling. The ground beneath all these features, however, is included.

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
Baines, E, The History of Lancashire, (1836)
Farrer, , Brownbill, , The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire, (1907)
3/18, St Helens Planning Department, Listed Buildings File,
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,
Mr. Heyes (Site occupier), To Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, (1991)
SMR No. 4698/1, Merseyside SMR, Mossborough Hall,


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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