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Moat Farm moated site and associated pond

A Scheduled Monument in Dennington, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.2766 / 52°16'35"N

Longitude: 1.3383 / 1°20'18"E

OS Eastings: 627834.443217

OS Northings: 269518.215038

OS Grid: TM278695

Mapcode National: GBR WN2.95S

Mapcode Global: VHL9Y.41WM

Entry Name: Moat Farm moated site and associated pond

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011337

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21309

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 a moated site and associated pond, located on the
boundary between the parishes of Dennington, on the south and east side, and
Brundish on the north and west. The moat, which is approximately 1.6m deep and
measures between 11m and 15m in width, surrounds an island of irregular
trapezoidal plan, giving overall maximum dimensions of 111m north east - south
west by 90m north west - south east. The surface of the island is raised
between 0.6m and 0.9m above the external surface level, and access to it is
provided by a causeway across the eastern arm of the moat, with a second
causeway across the western arm opposite. The moat is water-filled, fed by
surface drainage.
Immediately to the west of the moat, near the southern end, is an east-west
linear pond measuring approximately 65m by 10m which, as part of a system
controlling the inflow of water, is included in the scheduling. The moat and
the surrounding field system remain much as they are shown in a map dated
1627, the principal addition being a large pond which has been dug on the
eastern arm of the moat, towards its southern end. The greater part of this
pond, where it is distinct from the moat, is not included in the scheduling.
Moat Farm was known formerly as Pyeshall's or Pixhall's Manor, and Robert de
Pyshale and John Pyshale are mentioned in documents of the early 14th century.
In the mid 16th century it was owned by Henry Edgar (died 1619). Moat Farm
House, which stands on the island, incorporates a 16th century building, and a
chimney stack bears the date 1606, and the initials of Henry and Bridget

The house, which is Listed Grade II, is excluded from the scheduling, as are
the outbuildings and sheds on the island, the driveway and paths, garden walls
and fences, and a post supporting a television aerial. Also excluded is a farm
building which encroaches on the outer edge of the eastern arm, north of the
causeway, and the associated concrete standing and revetment. The ground
beneath all these buildings and features is included in the scheduling.

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 Moat Farm survives well and the island is largely
unencumbered by later building. Important archaeological information
concerning the construction, function and use of the site will be contained in
deposits on the island, and evidence for land use prior to the construction of
the moat will be preserved in the soils buried beneath its raised surface.
Organic material will also be preserved in water-logged deposits. The moat is
of an unusual form, and has additional interest as one of a group of moated
sites surviving in and immediately around the parish of Dennington.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Farrer, E, 'East Anglian Miscellany' in Moat Farm, Dennington, , Vol. 11, (1917), 1,5,10
Martin, E, Easton, T, 'Proc Suffolk Inst Archaeol' in Excursions 1991: Eye, Cranley Hall, , Vol. 37, (1992), 398
Title: Map in possession of Mr & Mrs J Nesling
Source Date: 1627

Source: Historic England

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