The Moat House moated site 600m WNW of St David's Church


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of The Moat House moated site 600m WNW of St David's Church
© 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.

Wigan (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 60033 09089

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 House moated site 600m WNW of St David's Church survives well in spite of the continuing use of the island for a dwelling from the 18th century to the present. The bottom of the moat will contain silts which will have preserved remains of the medieval occupation, and the island platform will have significant evidence of the earlier buildings on the site.


The monument includes a moated site at Haigh. At present the island is occupied by an 18th century house, which is a Listed Building Grade II, with a small cellar and outbuildings to the north. Although there is no documentary evidence of the original occupation, the island was the site of a medieval hall. The moat is now dry and preserved as a garden feature. It is square with each side measuring 50m on the outside. The sides are stone lined to a depth of 0.75m and on average the moat is 1.5m deep and 8m wide. Material thrown up by the excavation of the moat appears to have been placed to the south to build up the side of the watercourse into a shallow dam. On the southern corner of the east side there is a causewayed entrance to take service traffic. This is not original. On the north side, almost in the centre, there are the remains of a stone bridge beneath the outbuilding which lies over the moat. This may represent the original approach to the island. The house and its outbuildings 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.

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Books and journals
Farrer, J, Brownbill, W (eds), The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire: Volume II, (1908), 550
RCHME, , Upton Heath, (1989)
Collens, J ,


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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