Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Dennington Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Dennington, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.2682 / 52°16'5"N

Longitude: 1.3549 / 1°21'17"E

OS Eastings: 629007.369199

OS Northings: 268635.179315

OS Grid: TM290686

Mapcode National: GBR WN3.MD1

Mapcode Global: VHL9Y.F8N2

Entry Name: Moated site at Dennington Hall

Scheduled Date: 15 November 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011332

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21304

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Dennington

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Dennington St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes the moated site of old Dennington Hall, located 40m
south of the present Dennington Hall, and approximately 1.5m north east of
Dennington Village. The water-filled, sub-rectangular moat measures between
10m and 16m in width and between 2m and 3m in depth and encloses an island
with maximum dimensions of 55m north - south by 46m east - west. It is fed by
surface drainage, and the intake is by a ditch which runs southwards
from the centre of the southern arm. A shallow, shelving cattle pond measuring
approximately 15m north - south has been dug to the east of this, in the outer
edge of the southern arm of the moat, and the outer edge of the northern arm
at its eastern end appears to have been enlarged for a similar purpose. There
is no causeway.

Around much of the inner face of the moat is a revetment of coursed flints
with a facing of brick which survives below water level on the north side and
above water to some extent on the east side; elsewhere it is fragmentary. The
flint core of the revetment is visible above water on the east side,
particularly at the north end, and at the north end of the west side, where
there is a projection measuring approximately 0.5m in thickness and 2m in
width. The central part of the west side is revetted for about 27m of its
length by limestone blocks approximately 0.5m x 0.2m x 0.3m in size. The
footings of three brick walls have been observed in section in the weathered
upper edge of the north side, towards its eastern end.

An internal bank approximately 0.5m high and 4m - 5m in width runs across the
northern end of the island, curving across the north western and north eastern
corners. The island is no longer occupied, but evidence of building and
medieval occupation, including brick, peg tile and sherds of medieval pottery,
have been recorded from the surface of the whole area.

In the 12th century the manor of Dennington was held by Sir John de Bovile. In
the late 14th century it was held by Sir William Wingfield, and remained in
the possession of the Wingfield family until 1538, when the manor, with
Dennington Hall, passed to Sir Anthony Rous of Dennington Place.

A modern wooden bridge which gives access to the site is excluded from the
scheduling, as are a greenhouse on the island, fences on the island and
bordering or immediately adjacent to the moat, adjacent access tracks, and
also yard surfaces and standing walls on and immediately adjacent to the
eastern outer edge of the moat, but the ground beneath all these 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.

The moated site of Dennington Hall is prominent among a group of moats which
survive in and immediately around the parish of Dennington. It survives well
and retains particularly good archaeological evidence, in the walls revetting
the inner face of the moat, of the substantial medieval house which once
occupied the central platform. Further evidence of medieval occupation is
known to be contained in deposits on the platform.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Copinger, W A, History of the Manors of Suffolk, (1909), 30-33
NAR TM 26 NE 18,
Notes on watching brief, Suffolk SMR DNN 001, (1990)
Rous, R C, (1992)

Source: Historic England

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