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Boys Hall moated site, 410m north west of The Grange

A Scheduled Monument in Flixton (The Saints Ward), Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.425 / 52°25'29"N

Longitude: 1.3952 / 1°23'42"E

OS Eastings: 630939.021457

OS Northings: 286198.900028

OS Grid: TM309861

Mapcode National: GBR WL6.ZH5

Mapcode Global: VHM6N.49GV

Entry Name: Boys Hall moated site, 410m north west of The Grange

Scheduled Date: 10 February 1953

Last Amended: 12 March 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017912

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21449

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Flixton (The Saints Ward)

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Flixton St Mary

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes Boys Hall moated site, which is located on the south
side of the valley of the river Waveney, approximately 500m south west of
Flixton parish church and 550m WSW of the site of Flixton Priory, which is the
subject of a separate scheduling.

The moated site is roughly triangular in plan overall and contains two
enclosures of unequal size separated by a single arm of the moat. The southern
enclosure, which is the larger of the two, forms an irregular quadrangle,
concave on the north side. The central island, measures approximately 76m
east-west and with north-south dimensions widening from approximately 37m on
the west side to a maximum of 59m on the east. It is surrounded by a large
moat which ranges in width from approximately 18m on the south side to 6m on
the east and has a visible depth of up to 2m below the prevailing ground
surface level. The moat is silted but contains some water, fed by an inlet in
the eastern end of the southern arm. The apparent size of the moat is
increased by a broad external bank up to 1.5m in height which borders it
around the west and south sides. The tail of the bank is skirted at a distance
of approximately 11m from the lip of the moat by a partly infilled ditch,
visible as a linear hollow approximately 3.5m wide and 0.3m deep.

The smaller enclosure which forms the northern part of the moated site and is
perhaps a later extension, is sub-triangular in plan, with a central island
which has maximum dimensions of approximately 40m north-south and 41m along
the southern side. On the east and west sides it is defined by two converging
ditches which issue north east and north westward respectively from the north
western and north eastern angles of the moat around the southern enclosure.
The two ditches contain water and are narrower than any part of the moat to
the south, with a width of up to 4m and more steeply sloping inner edges. The
external bank which borders the southern and western arms of the moat to the
south continues alongside the ditch on the west side, but with diminished
height and width.

There is documentary evidence for the existence of a manor house on the moated
site in the 16th century and, although nothing of this remains standing above
ground, evidence for a demolished building is visible in the larger, southern
enclosure. A low mound, containing numerous bricks of medieval or early
post-medieval type, covers an area approximately 35m north-south by 20m
east-west in the north eastern part of the central island, perhaps marking the
site of the manor house. Towards the southern end of this mound, near the
centre of the eastern half of the island, is a rectangular brick well head,
vaulted above a largely infilled circular shaft.

Boyse manor was a sub-manor of Flixton. Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries
it was owned by the Tasburgh family and it is mentioned in various wills and
other documents of that period. An undated inventory of the late 16th century,
headed `A note of what is lefte at Boyse Haule with Mr Edward Tasburgh'
provides details of the manor house which show that it was probably a
comparatively small building. Boys Hall is said to have been used subsequently
as a game keeper's lodge and to have been demolished before 1914, when a
summer house for Flixton Hall was constructed on the moated site. The summer
house was removed when the hall was sold in 1932.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 Boys Hall survives well as an example of a moated manor,
unencumbered by modern structures, and will contain archaeological information
relating to its construction and occupation during the medieval period and
subsequently. The earthworks of the moat and external bank, which are
impressive in scale, remain intact, and on the larger of the central islands
there is visible evidence for the demolished hall which stood there. Further
remains of this hall and associated structures, including buried foundations,
will be preserved beneath the ground surface. Organic materials, including
evidence for the local environment in the past are likely to be preserved in
waterlogged deposits in the moat, and evidence for earlier land use may also
to be preserved in soils buried beneath the external bank. The monument has
historic associations with the moated site of Flixton Priory, situated
approximately 550m to the east, and also with Flixton Hall, built originally
in about 1615, and these associations, together with the documentation
relating to ownership by the Tasburgh family, give it additional interest.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Evans, N, 'Proc Suffolk Inst Archaeol' in The Tasburghs of South Elmham, , Vol. 34, (1979), 269-280
NMR TM 38 NW 12,

Source: Historic England

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