Ancient Monuments

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North Grange moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Sibton, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.2788 / 52°16'43"N

Longitude: 1.4627 / 1°27'45"E

OS Eastings: 636304.230734

OS Northings: 270164.195038

OS Grid: TM363701

Mapcode National: GBR XPK.4M7

Mapcode Global: VHM78.9ZMG

Entry Name: North Grange moated site

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018275

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21438

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Sibton

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Sibton

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a moated site which is located 150m to the south of
North Grange Farmhouse, on a hill above the valley of the River Yox. To the
south east of the moat, on the lower slopes of the valley, are the ruins of
Sibton Abbey, a foundation of the Cistercian order established in 1150, which
is the subject of a separate scheduling.
The eastern and southern arms of the moat, which are water-filled and range
from about 10m to 15m in width, enclose two sides of a rectangular central
platform measuring approximately 67m north-south by 40m and raised up to 0.4m
above the prevailing ground surface. A third arm of the moat, enclosing the
western side of the platform, is now largely infilled but can be traced as a
slight linear depression about 13m wide in the ground surface. The northern
arm has become completely infilled but, although no longer visible, it will
survive as a buried feature. The probable line of the inner edge of both this
and the western arm is marked by a later field ditch about 2m wide which
connects with an outlet drain issuing from the north end of the eastern arm.
In the south western corner of the central platform, and included in the
scheduling, there is a circular, brick built tank and other brick and concrete
remains of a 19th century filter pumping system which formerly supplied water
to the house now known as Sibton Abbey, 820m to the south west. In deeds
relating to the sale of Sibton Abbey and its adjoining lands in the early 17th
century, North Grange is referred to as a former cell of this abbey.

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.

North Grange moated site survives well as a whole, unencumbered by modern
building, and although the western and northern arms of the moat are now
largely or wholly infilled, they will survive as buried features. The raised
central platform, together with the surrounding moat ditches and the lower
fills within the ditches, will retain archaeological information relating to
the construction and use of the site, and organic materials, including
environmental evidence, are likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in
the eastern and southern arms of the moat. Evidence for earlier land use will
also be preserved in soils buried beneath the central platform.
The documented association between North Grange and Sibton Abbey, indicating
that the moated site was within a farm complex owned and run by the monastic
community, is of particular interest. The Cistercian order pioneered the
system of farming represented by monastic granges, subsequently adopted by
other monastic orders.

Source: Historic England


Levett-Scrivener, J E, (1996)
microfilm copy in SRO: ref J 400/2, MS copy of deed of conveyance, Davy Coll. BL Add Mss 19077-19113,
NMR ref TM 37 SE 1,

Source: Historic England

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