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Moated site at Cranley Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Eye, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.3115 / 52°18'41"N

Longitude: 1.1563 / 1°9'22"E

OS Eastings: 615246.168699

OS Northings: 272845.883422

OS Grid: TM152728

Mapcode National: GBR TJS.54Q

Mapcode Global: VHL9N.053B

Entry Name: Moated site at Cranley Hall

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019670

English Heritage Legacy ID: 30595

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Eye

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Eye St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a moated site located on a low spur to the south of
Cranley Green Road and east of the site of Eye Park, which was created as a
deer park soon after the Conquest. The moat has been partly infilled, but the
western arm of it, with the western ends of the northern and southern arms,
survives intact as a water-filled feature 11m to 16m wide. Further details are
recorded on a map made in 1626 which depicts the longer, eastern part of the
northern arm, with an entry or causeway about 22m wide flanked by spurs of the
moat about 18m long which project outwards from the northern arm on either
side. The projecting spur on the eastern side of the causeway survives as a
water-filled feature although it has been enlarged externally to form a pond.
Its west and south sides, however, preserve the internal angle between the
spur and the main body of the northern arm to the east of it. The eastern arm,
and all but the western end of the southern arm had evidently been infilled
before the map was made and are not shown on it, but their probable line is
indicated on the map by boundary fences and is still indicated on the eastern
side by a depression in the ground surface which marks the site of an an
infilled pond. The infilled parts of the moat, although no longer visible,
will survive as buried features. The moat originally enclosed a quadrangular
island approximately 70m in length WNW-ESE and widening from 18m at the
western end to about 45m at the eastern end.

Cranley Hall, which is a Listed Building Grade II* dated to the 16th century,
stands opposite the original entrance to the moated site. In addition to this
building the 17th century map depicts various other features within the moated
site, including a small walled courtyard and gate on the north side of the
house, an outbuilding in a small enclosure to the south east of the house, a
dovecote alongside the northern arm of the moat to the north east, and a
formal parterre between the house and the western arm of the moat. The remains
of these are believed to survive as buried features. In addition, evidence for
occupation of the site in the medieval period is provided by finds discovered
in the area of the infilled southern arm of the moat, including a medieval
dagger and 15th century pottery.

The moated site is identified as that of a medieval manor house named after
the de Cranley family who held it in the late 13th and 14th centuries. In the
mid-16th century it was in the possession of Nicholas Everard, and around 1625
it was bought by Myles Edgar, for whom the map of 1626 was made.

Cranley Hall, a garden house which is a Listed Building Grade II dated to the
18th century, together with modern farm buildings and other outbuildings
including the remains of a greenhouse, garden walls, fences and gates, modern
track surfaces, service poles, clothes line poles, the supports for an oil
tank, inspection chambers and a sewage treatment plant in the area of the
south arm of the moat, are excluded from the scheduling, however 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 Cranley Hall has been little disturbed by modern activity
and will retain archaeological information concerning the various medieval or
early post-medieval outbuildings and other features recorded on the map of
1626, as well as evidence for earlier occupation. Evidence relating to the
construction and use of the site will also be preserved in the buried sections
of the moat which, because they were infilled before the early 17th century,
are likely to contain deposits of medieval date. The 17th century map which
shows the moated site also provides details of surrounding fields and
buildings, and further details of the historical context are provided by two
inventories of the manor dated 1625 and 1626, all of which add to the interest
of the monument. The moated site is associated with a smaller moat
approximately 88m to the south east which may have contained a garden or
orchard and which is the subject of a separate scheduling. These are among
several located to the south east of the town of Eye which, as a group,
provide valuable information about the medieval settlement of the area.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Easton, T, Martin, E, 'Proc Suffolk Inst Archaeol' in Cranley Hall, , Vol. 37 pt 4, (1992), 395-398
Title: Maps...of Farms and Premises belonging to Sir Edward Kerrison
Source Date: 1812
SRO Ref. HD68: 484/763
Title: The Description of the Scite of the Mannor of Cranlye Hall
Source Date: 1626
C20th copy in SRO Ref. HD78:2671 Eye

Source: Historic England

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