Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Abbey Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Culpho, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.098 / 52°5'52"N

Longitude: 1.2211 / 1°13'16"E

OS Eastings: 620722.435868

OS Northings: 249303.312594

OS Grid: TM207493

Mapcode National: GBR VNQ.HJQ

Mapcode Global: VHLBN.3JXJ

Entry Name: Moated site at Abbey Farm

Scheduled Date: 27 April 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017915

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30526

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Culpho

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Culpho St Botolph

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a moated site situated approximately 350m north west of
St Botolph's Church on level ground to the north of the valley of the River
Fynn. The moat, which is silted but seasonally wet, ranges from approximately
6m to 14m in width and surrounds a sub-rectangular central island with maximum
dimensions of approximately 92m north-south by 65m east-west. A causeway
approximately 5m wide across the middle of the western arm gives access to the
interior. Abbey Farmhouse, dated in part to the 17th century and Listed Grade
II, stands in the south western quadrant of the island and is excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

The manor to which the moated site relates was held in the 13th century by the
de Valoines family and in 1280 was given by William de Valoines, with the
parish church, to Leiston Abbey. From that time until the Dissolution of the
monasteries it formed part of the Abbey estates, and after the Dissolution was
granted by the Crown, firstly to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk and
brother-in-law of King Henry VII, and then to Thomas Bacon of Hessett.

Abbey Farmhouse, the garage and other associated outbuildings and structures,
including a coal bunker and the supports for an oil tank are excluded from the
scheduling, together with all garden walls and paving, modern fences and
gates, driveway and path surfaces, inspection chambers, and a lamp post and
service pole adjacent to the drive, 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.

The moated site at Abbey Farm survives well, with the complete circuit of the
moat intact, and the greater part of the central island unencumbered by modern
buildings. The monument as a whole will retain archaeological information
relating to its original construction and later use, including remains of
buildings and other structures on the central island. The waterlogged deposits
in the moat are also likely to contain well-preserved organic materials,
including evidence for the local environment in the past. The historically
documented association with Leiston Abbey adds further interest to the site.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Copinger, W A, History of the Manors of Suffolk: Volume III, (1907), 37
Bamford, H M, (1997)
Sufolk Coastal; Culpho, CUP 006, (1986)

Source: Historic England

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