Ancient Monuments

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Moated site and associated pond at Brookhall Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Wissett, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.3789 / 52°22'44"N

Longitude: 1.482 / 1°28'55"E

OS Eastings: 637081.768393

OS Northings: 281356.660029

OS Grid: TM370813

Mapcode National: GBR XN7.X2X

Mapcode Global: VHM6W.MGTP

Entry Name: Moated site and associated pond at Brookhall Farm

Scheduled Date: 3 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018962

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30574

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Wissett

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Wissett St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a moated site located in an isolated position near the
northern end of Wissett parish, close to the eastern parish boundary. The
moat, which is around 2.5m deep and contains water, ranges from approximately
7m to 10m in width and surrounds the greater part of a quadrangular central
island. Parts of the moat enclosing the north western corner of the island are
believed to have been infilled but will survive as buried features and are
included in the scheduling. The site is terraced into a slight west-facing
slope, and the outer edge of the north eastern arm of the moat forms a scarp
up to 1m high above the level of the ground to the west.

The central island is divided into two enclosures of unequal size by an
internal arm of the moat which extends north eastwards from the main south
western arm and parallel to the main south eastern arm. The main enclosure
measures about 87m north west-south east internally and is approximately 75m
wide at the north western end, narrowing to 42m. The smaller, rectangular
enclosure to the south east of this has internal dimensions of approximately
45m north east-south west by 18m. Access between the two is provided by a
causeway at the north eastern end of the internal arm of the moat which
separates them. A second, slightly sunken causeway across the north eastern
end of the main south eastern arm opposite this is thought not to be an
original feature.

Parallel to the south eastern arm of the moat and separated from it by a low
bank about 6m wide there is a roughly rectangular pond, possibly constructed
as a fishpond, the north eastern end of which is linked to the south eastern
corner of the moat by a channel about 3m wide, now partly infilled and dry. A
shorter channel at the south western end links it to an irregular pond which
extends from the south western end of the moat and issues into a stream
running off to the south east.

Brookhall Farmhouse, which is a Listed Building Grade II and dated in part to
the 16th century, stands within the larger moated enclosure and is excluded
from the scheduling, as are the associated outbuildings, farm buildings to the
north east of the house, yard walls, modern paving, the modern surfaces of
driveway and farmyard, inspection chambers, the supports of fences and garden
trelliswork, a swing, clothes line posts, garden rockeries and the concrete
supports of a footbridge which formerly crossed the south western arm of the
moat, 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 Brookhall Farm is of an unusual form and the greater part
of it survives well. The moat, the two islands which it encloses and the
associated pond will retain archaeological information concerning its
construction and subsequent occupation during the medieval period. Organic
materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past are likely
to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the moat and pond. Evidence for
earlier land use may also be contained in buried soils beneath the bank
between the south eastern arm of the moat and the pond.

Source: Historic England

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