Cunscough Hall moated site, Melling


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012504

Date first listed: 22-May-1991


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

District: Sefton (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Melling

National Grid Reference: SD 41060 02699


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 infilling of much of the moat this site will retain considerable archaeological information. In particular the site of the hall remains largely undisturbed and hence will retain detail of the form of this building. The monument illustrates well the extensive geographical sphere of influence of the monastic settlement at Cockersand Abbey and demonstrates the diversity of size and function of this class of monument.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument at Cunscough Hall comprises a slightly raised platform of undisturbed grassland measuring c.25m x 13m upon which stood the original Cunscough Hall. The surrounding moat has been largely infilled but survives as a drainage ditch 4-5m wide x 1m deep at the W corner. A shallow depression some 10m wide indicates the position of the moat's NE arm and an outer bank runs along the NE and NW sides. Being stocked with fish and encouraging fowl the moat provided a valuable food source, a water supply in case of fire, and an easy means for the disposal of waste and sewage. Cunscough Hall was the property of the Abbey of Cockersand until the Dissolution, after which it passed through various hands, being in possession of the Tatlock family by the mid-17th century. Access to the hall is known to have been via a timber bridge across the moat. The field boundary running along the NW side of the monument is excluded from the scheduling.

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: 13431

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
'Chetham Society' in Chartulary of Cockersand Abbey, , Vol. 2, ()
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
M58 Archaeological Survey, (1977)
M58 Archaeological Survey, (1977)
Mr Swift (Site owner/occupier),
Ordnance Survey Card, Merseyside SMR 4102/2,
Pagination 64, Gibson, (1876)

End of official listing