Ancient Monuments

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Moated site immediately north of St Margaret's Green

A Scheduled Monument in St. Margaret, South Elmham, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.4016 / 52°24'5"N

Longitude: 1.4127 / 1°24'45"E

OS Eastings: 632245.760419

OS Northings: 283658.644023

OS Grid: TM322836

Mapcode National: GBR WLM.HYR

Mapcode Global: VHM6N.FWNS

Entry Name: Moated site immediately north of St Margaret's Green

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018330

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30548

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: St. Margaret, South Elmham

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: South Elmham St Margaret St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a moated site situated on level ground alongside a
triangular green. The moat encloses the north, west and east sides and the
south west and south east angles of a rectangular central platform with
internal dimensions of approximately 73m north east-south west by 27m, the
surface of which is raised between 0.4m and 0.6m above the prevailing ground
level. The western end of the northern arm of the moat is enlarged to a width
of up to to 15m, with a short westward projection from the north west corner,
and is partly infilled. The remainder of the northern arm, which is water-
filled, ranges from 5m to 8m in width. At the south western corner of the moat
is the opening of an outlet channel running south westwards alongside the
green. It is probable that the moat originally enclosed more of the southern
side and has been been partly infilled, but if so, it will survive as a buried
feature. A hollowed track runs from this side across the interior to a narrow
causeway which gives access to the interior across the northern arm and is
possibly not original. Fragments of pottery of 15th and 16th century date
found on the surface of the field immediately to the north of the moat are
evidence for occupation of the site during the medieval period.

A timber framed house which formerly stood on the western half of the central
platform was burnt down in the late 19th century and nothing of it remains
visible on the surface.

A brick built barn on the south eastern part of the moated island and service
poles on the outer margin of the moated site are excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath 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 immediately north of St Margaret's Green survives well
and, although parts of the interior may have undergone some disturbance from
the construction of post-medieval farm buildings, the monument as a whole will
retain archaeological information relating to the construction of the moat and
its occupation during and after the medieval period. As a greenside moat, the
monument represents one of several different variants of this class of
monument which are represented within the nine parishes formerly known as the
`liberty, manor or township of South Elmham' and which, as a group, are of
particular interest for the study of settlement patterns in this part of

Source: Historic England


Walpole, Mrs W , (1996)

Source: Historic England

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