Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Cowlinge Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Cowlinge, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.144 / 52°8'38"N

Longitude: 0.5028 / 0°30'10"E

OS Eastings: 571356.255906

OS Northings: 252473.253384

OS Grid: TL713524

Mapcode National: GBR PDK.FYG

Mapcode Global: VHJH4.NCPS

Entry Name: Moated site at Cowlinge Hall

Scheduled Date: 24 January 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019524

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33288

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Cowlinge

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Cowlinge St Margaret of Antioch

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Cowlinge Hall.

The moated site includes a trapezoidal island, measuring up to 56m north-south
by 64m east-west. This is contained by a waterfilled moat measuring an average
12m in width. Outer banks, measuring up to 10m wide and 0.5m high and thought
to have been constructed with material dug from the moat, are visible along
the west, south and part of the eastern side. The causeway across the north
arm of the moat towards the north east corner, is known to have been in use
before 1846 and may represent the original access to the island whilst the
footbridge which also crosses the north arm of the moat is believed to be
modern. The centre of the island is occupied by Cowlinge Hall, a Listed
Building Grade II thought to be of 16th century origin.

The moated site is thought to represent the manor of Cowlinge, which is
mentioned in the late 13th century as being held by Geoffry de Aspale. By 1337
it had passed to Sir John de Aspale, who had a grant of free warren. In the
15th century the manor had descended through marriage to Philip Tilney and by
the second half of the 16th century it was held by Charles Worliche who is
known to have resided there.

Cowlinge Hall, the footbridge, greenhouse, watertank, all walls, sheds,
outhouses, fences, gates, outside lamps, together with the surface of the
patio, driveway and other modern made surfaces 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 Cowlinge Hall survives well. It remains largely undisturbed
by post-medieval and modern activity and will retain buried evidence for
structures and other features relating to the development and character of the
site throughout its occupation. Buried soils beneath the external bank are
also likely to retain evidence for earlier land use. The buried silts in the
base of the south and east arms of the moat will contain artefacts relating to
the period of occupation. Organic materials, including environmental evidence
relating to the character of the landscape in which the moated site was set,
are also likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the moat.

Comparisons between this site and further examples, both locally and more
widely, will provide valuable insights into the developments in the nature of
settlement in medieval England.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Copinger, W, 'The Manors of Suffolk' in Cowling, , Vol. V, (1909), 203-8
Title: Tithe Map and Apportionment of Cowlinge
Source Date: 1846
SRO(Bury): T74/1,2

Source: Historic England

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