Ancient Monuments

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Burgate Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Burgate, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.3394 / 52°20'21"N

Longitude: 1.0509 / 1°3'3"E

OS Eastings: 607933.556083

OS Northings: 275641.808584

OS Grid: TM079756

Mapcode National: GBR TJ8.8J0

Mapcode Global: VHL9D.5GDG

Entry Name: Burgate Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 2 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017331

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30570

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Burgate

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Burgate St Mary of Pity

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a moated site located about 300m west of St Mary's
Church and 250m ENE of a medieval ringwork in Burgate Wood, the subject of a
separate scheduling.

The moat surrounds a sub-rectangular central platform which has maximum
internal dimensions of 95m north-south by 65m and is raised approximately 0.5m
above the prevailing ground level except at the southern end. The western,
northern and eastern arms of the moat itself, which range between 9m and 13m,
remain open to a depth of up to 1.75m and contain water. The southern arm has
been partly infilled but, where visible, is approximately 15m wide. The
western end, enclosing the south western corner of the central platform,
remains water filled, and a hollow up to 1m deep in the ground surface with a
well defined scarp along the inner (northern) edge marks its continuation for
a further 17m, beyond which there was perhaps a central causeway giving access
to the interior. The inner edge of the eastern end is marked by a very slight,
shallow scarp. Hall Farmhouse stands just inside the inner edge of the
southern arm, opposite the possible causeway, and is thought to incorporate
part of a medieval gatehouse dated to around 1400. The house is Listed Grade
II* and excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

The moated site is identified as the site of Burgate manor house, probably
built to replace an earlier one within the ringwork nearby. The manor was held
by the de Burgate family throughout much of the medieval period, the last of
that name being Sir William Burgate who died in 1409 and whose tomb, with
monumental brass, is in the parish church. After his death it passed to his
daughters and their husbands, Sir Robert Swyneford and John Rookwood. In 1545
it was granted to Thomas Bacon and shortly after that passed to Sir Nicholas
Bacon. In 1587 it was leased to William Morrys of Burgate, with the
stipulation that he should build a new hall and parlour.

Hall Farmhouse, all associated outbuildings and sheds, garden walls, fences,
gates and garden railings, the surfaces of modern yards, driveways and
paths, inspection chambers, an oil tank by the house, a stand pipe, service
poles, and a modern timber footbridge across the western arm of the moat are
excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all 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.

Burgate Hall moated site survives well and the greater part of the central
platform remains undisturbed by modern building. The moat and the raised
central platform will contain archaeological information concerning the
construction of the site and its occupation in the medieval and early
post-medieval periods. Organic materials, including evidence for the local
environment in the past, are likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits
in the moat. The monument has additional interest in relation to the adjacent
ringwork which is believed to be an earlier site of Burgate Manor.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Copinger, W A, The Manors of Suffolk, Volume 3, (1909), 244f
Hill, P O, Echoes from the Past Life of Burgate, (1932)
Farrer, E, 'Proceedings Suffolk Inst Archaeol' in The Burgate Hall Charters, , Vol. 19, (1927), 352-354

Source: Historic England

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