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Cunscough Hall moated site, Melling

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Cunscough Hall moated site, Melling

List entry Number: 1012504


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Sefton

District Type: Metropolitan Authority

Parish: Melling

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 22-May-1991

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 13431

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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.

Selected Sources

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)

National Grid Reference: SD 41060 02699


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1012504 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 19-Aug-2018 at 04:25:37.

End of official listing