Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Blundeston Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Blundeston, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.513 / 52°30'46"N

Longitude: 1.7125 / 1°42'44"E

OS Eastings: 651998.013166

OS Northings: 297041.755788

OS Grid: TM519970

Mapcode National: GBR YSP.FSD

Mapcode Global: VHM6F.M3PD

Entry Name: Moated site at Blundeston Hall

Scheduled Date: 3 April 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018966

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30578

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Blundeston

Built-Up Area: Blundeston

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Blundeston St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Norwich


The monument includes a moated site located in the bottom of a small valley on
the west side of Blundeston Village, approximately 670m ESE of St Mary's
Church. The present Blundeston Hall stands about 45m to the west. The moat
ranges from about 10m to 14m in width on the west, south and east sides, with
a narrower arm about 8m wide on the north, and is water-filled, fed by a
stream which enters at the northern end of the eastern arm and issues at the
southern end into a channel which feeds into Blundeston Decoy some 650m to the
south west. The moat surrounds a sub-rectangular central island with internal
dimensions of approximately 80m NNE-SSW by 36m across the southern end,
narrowing to approximately 20m at the northern end. The eastern arm of the
moat, and probably the northern arm also, are shown as being narrower on maps
made in 1841 and 1843, but it is possible that subsequent modifications have
done no more than reopen them to their original extent. Causeways, which in
the early 19th century gave access to the interior across the southern arm and
the southern end of the western arm, have been removed, although it is likely
that the latter, at least, was not an original feature. The course of the
stream to the north of the moat has also been altered.

The moated site is identified with the medieval manor of Blundeston Hall,
either as the site of the medieval manor house itself or associated directly
with it. The manor, one of two known to have existed in the parish, is
documented from the early 13th century, when it was in the Lordship of the de
Blundeston family. By the end of the 14th century it had passed to Sir Robert
Herling, and around the mid-15th century was acquired by the Yarmouth family.
In 1570 it was sold by Humphrey Yarmouth to Philip Sydnor and in 1651 was
conveyed by his descendants to William Heveningham who, ten years later was
convicted of treason, having been one of the judges at the trial of Charles I.
Records of the sale of the manor to John Tasburgh in 1662 mention the capital
(chief) house called Blundeston Hall and, prior to this, the record of a court
hearing in the early 17th century includes reference to the fact that the
house was known as Blundeston Hall in earlier manorial court records.

A modern footbridge across the northern arm of the moat, the modern weir over
which the water issues at the southern end, and all fence posts 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 at Blundeston Hall survives well, and although there is
evidence for possible limited modification of the moat in the later 19th
century, the central island remains unencumbered by modern buildings. The
monument as a whole will contain archaeological information concerning the
construction and use of the site during the medieval period, and it is
possible that organic materials, including evidence for the local environment
in the past, will also be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the bottom of
the moat.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Copinger, W A, History of the Manors of Suffolk: Volume V, (1909), 9
Suckling, A, History and Antiquities of Suffolk, (1848), 307-315
Title: Blundeston Hall; sale map
Source Date: 1917
Suffolk R O (Lowestoft) Ref HD78-2671
Title: Map of Flixton and Blundeston
Source Date: 1843
Suffolk R O (Lowestoft) Ref 61/4
Title: Tithe Map, Blundeston
Source Date: 1841
Suffolk R O (Lowestoft)

Source: Historic England

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