Ancient Monuments

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Wade Hall moated site

A Scheduled Monument in North Cove, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.4551 / 52°27'18"N

Longitude: 1.6374 / 1°38'14"E

OS Eastings: 647229.456442

OS Northings: 290346.863239

OS Grid: TM472903

Mapcode National: GBR YTR.0SG

Mapcode Global: VHM6L.BKH9

Entry Name: Wade Hall moated site

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018332

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30550

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: North Cove

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: North Cove St Botolph

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a moated manorial site located some 850m to the south of
the River Waveney on the edge of the marshland bordering the river. The moat,
which ranges in width between 15m and 20m, is water-filled on the north side
and elsewhere, although partly silted, remains open to a depth of up to 2.5m
and is seasonally wet. It surrounds an ovoid central platform with maximum
dimensions of 65m east-west by 48m, raised up to 0.5m above the prevailing
ground level and with the spread remains of an internal bank standing to a
height of about 0.5m above this around the southern and eastern edge. On the
western edge of the platform there is an earthen mound measuring approximately
13m in length north-south by 9m and standing to a height of up to 2m which may
have supported a tower. A depression approximately 1m deep, which extends back
from the inner edge of the moat on the south side is considered to be a later
quarry pit, and immediately to the east of this the moat is crossed by a
narrow earthen causeway which is probably not an original feature. A short
outward projection from the moat on the north east side marks the opening of a
former outlet channel. Fragments of medieval clay roof tile, including glazed
ridge tile, observed on the surface of the interior provided evidence for the
medieval manor house which once stood there, and fragments of pottery dated to
the 13th century were found during cleaning of the northern part of the moat.
Occupation of the moated site probably ended around the beginning of the 17th
century, when the present Wade Hall, which stands immediately to the south of
the moat was built. The present hall is not included in the schedulling.

The manor of Wathe or Wade Hall was held in the mid 12th century by Robert
Watheby of Cumberland, in the 13th by the Jernegan family, and in the second
quarter of the 16th century by William Rede.

Part of a shed which stands on the outer edge of the moat's west side and
which extends within the area of protection, and fencing around the outer edge
of the moat 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.

Wade Hall moated site is unusual in plan and survives well, with the remains
of a variety of original features. The moat, central platform and associated
earthworks will contain archaeological information relating to the
construction and occupation of the site during the medieval period, and
evidence for the medieval manor house will survive below the ground surface.
Organic materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past is
also likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the moat, and buried
soils beneath the raised central platform may also retain evidence for earlier
land use, predating the construction of the moat.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Suffolk: Volume I, (1911), 590

Source: Historic England

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