Micklehead Green moated site


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


Ordnance survey map of Micklehead Green moated site
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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 51039 91299

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 having been subjected to land improvement that has obliterated traces of its eastern end, evidence of the original medieval structure that occupied the site will exist on the island and beneath the post-medieval St Michael's House. Additionally the monument is unusual in exhibiting two phases of moat construction.


The monument is Micklehead Green moated site, alternatively known as the Moat House, Sutton, or St Michael's House. The site includes much of an island that originally measured c.104m x 60m. Recent land improvement has resulted in levelling of the eastern side of the island to the extent that no surface traces of the island or the moat's eastern arm are visible. The surviving part of the island contains brick and sandstone structural remains of the post-medieval St Michael's House protruding above the surface. An ornamental low stone wall lies close to the island's southwest corner. The moat is dry throughout. Its southern arm is partially infilled but extends eastwards for some 20m. The western and northern arms measure c.9m wide x 1.6m deep. The northern arm extends eastwards for c.45m but has been infilled for the remainder of its length. A secondary eastern arm 12m long x 4.5m wide x 0.9m deep and stone-lined on its outer face has been created at the end of the extant length of the northern arm. The Moat House was the birth place of John Wyke, famous for developing the wheel-cutting engine used in the watch trade. The original extent of the moat was in existence in the mid 19th century but by 1896 it had been modified to its present appearance. All fences and hedges are excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included. The ruins of the post-medieval buildings are also included in the scheduling because any disturbance to them is likely to damage underlying medieval remains.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Farrer, W, Brownbill, J, The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire, (1914)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
Letter to Robinson, K.D. MPPFW, Hepworth, R.C. (Borough of St Helens), Land at Micklehead Green, (1991)
SMR No. 5191/1, Merseyside SMR, St Michael's House, Sutton,
Title: Ordnance Survey 25": 1 mile Source Date: 1896 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Ordnance Survey 6": 1 mile sheet 108 Source Date: 1849 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:


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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