New Hall Moat, Astley, 200m north of Astley Hospital


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.

Wigan (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 69934 01123

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.

The moat at New Hall is in relatively good condition in spite of the replacement of the original house. The island will retain evidence of the medieval buildings located there. The moat will retain silts containing the remains of the refuse from the medieval occupation of the site and other environmental evidence.


The monument includes a house platform surrounded by a moat. A modern house is now located on the island on the site of the original medieval building. A double garage has been erected on shallow foundations on the south side of the house. The moat is complete in its circuit and measures between 20m and 30m wide, with the widest part on the south west corner. At this point the water soaks away to join a watercourse flowing westwards from the site. The moat has been revetted with stone on the south side and this revetting is now in a ruinous condition. The moat has been bridged on this south side, with a modern stone bridge replacing an earlier timber structure across the water. The banks of the moat have been drawn in at this point to form a narrow channel 1m wide and culverted. The house platform enclosed by the moat is rectangular and measures 60m from south to north and 40m from east to west. The area enclosed is 0.25ha. This island is 0.4m above the surrounding land and has no trace of a bank inside the moat. The house occupies approximately a third of the island. The house and garage are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them 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:


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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