Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Folly Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Monewden, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.182 / 52°10'55"N

Longitude: 1.2689 / 1°16'8"E

OS Eastings: 623572.73265

OS Northings: 258785.444584

OS Grid: TM235587

Mapcode National: GBR VMT.3MM

Mapcode Global: VHLB8.YF54

Entry Name: Moated site at Folly Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 May 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1007683

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21319

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Monewden

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Monewden St Mary

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a moated site located 340m north-west of St Mary's
Church, in an elevated position above a north-facing slope. The moat ditch,
which ranges in width from 8m to 13m, encloses a sub-rectangular central
platform with maximum internal dimensions of 65m north-west/south-east by 55m
north-east/south-west, and the site has overall maximum dimensions of 90m by
83m. The southern, eastern and northern arms of the moat, and part of the
western arm around the north-western corner, remain open and contain water-
logged deposits, with open water during much of the year. At the north-
western corner is an outlet, approximately 5m wide and 1m in depth, which
carries the overflow to a field ditch. The southern part of the western arm,
including the south-western corner, survives as a buried feature, having been
filled in with rubble from Folly Farm House, which was demolished with
explosives in the 1950s. Maps of the site made before the demolition show a
causeway across the western arm, to the north of the infilled section.
The surface of the eastern half of the central platform is raised up to 1.8m
above the prevailing ground level and the house stood near the centre of this
raised area. According to an early 18th-century description this house, which
was known at that time as Monewden Folly, was built on the ruins of an earlier
building known as Monewden Lodge. The moated site has been identified as a
park-keeper's lodge set in a medieval deer park.
A barn which stood in the south-western corner of the central platform was
blown down in the gale of October 1987. An associated concrete yard and
access road which remain are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath these features is included.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 moated site at Folly Farm survives well, including the infilled southern
part of the western arm of the moat, which remains intact as a buried feature.
The monument will retain valuable archaeological information concerning the
occupation and use of the site and the building known as Monewden Lodge.
Evidence for earlier land use will also be preserved beneath the platform in
the interior. The association of the moated site with a medieval deer park
gives it additional interest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Farrer, E, 'East Anglian Miscellany' in The Folly Farm, Monewden, , Vol. 19, (1925), 12
Lindeman, F B, (1992)
NAR TM 25NW6, (1973)

Source: Historic England

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