Ancient Monuments

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Moat Farm moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Brandeston, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.2053 / 52°12'19"N

Longitude: 1.2699 / 1°16'11"E

OS Eastings: 623525.365601

OS Northings: 261380.044071

OS Grid: TM235613

Mapcode National: GBR VMF.PW1

Mapcode Global: VHLB2.YTQS

Entry Name: Moat Farm moated site

Scheduled Date: 8 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011327

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21296

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Brandeston

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Cretingham St Peter

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a moated site located on level ground 100m west of a
minor tributary of the River Deben which marks the boundary between the
parishes of Cretingham and Brandeston. It survives as a sub-rectangular
island measuring 70m north-south by 55m east-west, surrounded by a
water-filled moat averaging 10m in width and approximately 1.5m in depth
except in the north east corner, where there is a sump 3m deep. Access to the
island is provided by a causeway 5m wide across the northern arm. The
southern and eastern arms of the moat and the eastern part of the northern arm
were originally up to 20m, 16m and 15m wide respectively, but have become
narrowed as a result of infilling with silt, clay and topsoil on the inner
side. The original inner edge is clearly visible as a break 0.4m - 0.6m high
in the ground surface, and the infill is partly waterlogged. The western arm
is interrupted by a causeway which is not original, and its southern half,
which has also been narrowed by the filling of the inner edge, is connected to
a field drain. A projection of the eastern arm measuring 8m in width (reduced
from an original 15m) extends approximately 30m southwards from the south
eastern angle of the moat. Both this and the north eastern angle are connected
by ditches to the adjacent stream. Along the outer edges of the eastern arm
and around the north western angle are slight, irregular banks approximately
1m wide. Moat Farm house, which is listed Grade II is timber-framed and
plastered and has the date 1602 carved on the gable-end tie-beam, stands in
the middle of the island. The house and outbuildings are excluded from the
scheduling, as are a shed to the west of the causeway, a greenhouse within the
moated area, all paved surfaces and the driveway, a concrete covered tank to
the west of the house and also a service pole to the north east of the house
and all fencing but the ground beneath all these buildings and features is

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.

Moat Farm moated site survives well, the earthworks being clearly marked and
the island largely unencumbered by later building. Evidence concerning earlier
occupation and use will be preserved on the island, and organic material will
be contained in water logged deposits both here and in the ditches. It is a
good example of a moat which is still part of a working drainage system on a
low-lying site on clay.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Suffolk: Volume I, (1911), 607
Pate, R, (1992)
Source Date:

Source: Historic England

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