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Moated site at Denham Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Denham, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.2259 / 52°13'33"N

Longitude: 0.5713 / 0°34'16"E

OS Eastings: 575717.155557

OS Northings: 261751.812562

OS Grid: TL757617

Mapcode National: GBR PCP.F7V

Mapcode Global: VHJGS.V9CY

Entry Name: Moated site at Denham Hall

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019803

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33307

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Denham

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Denham St Mary

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Denham Hall which is situated
150m to the south east of St Mary's parish church.

The moated site includes a rectangular island which measures 136m NNW to SSE
by a maximum of 56m ENE to WSW. The island is surrounded by a water-filled
moat measuring up to 15m wide. Access across the moat is via two causeways;
the causeway across the NNW arm has traces of brick revetting, and it is
probable that it contains the remains of a brick bridge representing the
original access to the island. The causeway across the WSW arm is thought to
be a more recent addition.

Denham Hall, a timber framed Listed Building Grade II, which dates from the
early 16th century, is situated on the NNW half of the island. Additions were
made to the Hall in the late 16th and late 17th centuries, and it was encased
in brick during works carried out in the 19th century. A ruined brick
structure and associated brick revetting, which stands on the very northern
corner of the island overlooking the moat on its NNW and ENE sides, is
included in the scheduling. The structure, which is thought to date to the
late 16th or early 17th century, is a Listed Building Grade II and is believed
to have been a banqueting house, an ornamental building situated in a formal
garden, where the final course of a meal might be served to guests. It may
originally have been of two storeys and is built of red brick laid in English
bond and decorated with dressed ashlar quoins at the four corners. The NNW
side of the building has a mullioned window with ovolo mouldings. On the ENE
side of the banqueting house are the remains of a doorway which has a wooden
lintel beneath a pediment arch. There are two rectangular niches on the inner
face of the SSE wall. The banqueting house is linked to the north corner of
Denham Hall by a brick wall along the WNW side of the island. This wall is
also Listed Grade II and is thought to post-date both structures.

The manor of Denham is first mentioned in the 13th century, under the
ownership of the de Say family who held it until at least the mid-14th
century. It is probable that the moat was constructed during this time. In
1396 the manor was purchased by Robert Hethe of Little Saxham and continued in
his family until 1481. It was then acquired by the Heigham family who appear
to have continued living at Higham Hall in Gazeley until the mid-16th century.
In 1548 the manor was settled on Thomas Heigham on his marriage to Martha
Jermyn, and they took up residence in Denham; it is believed that the present
Denham Hall was built at this time. After both Thomas and Martha's deaths the
manor was inherited by their daughter Susan and her husband Sir Edward
Lewkenor. In 1605 the manor passed to their son, also Sir Edward Lewkenor who
occupied Denham Hall until his death in 1618. The sermon at his funeral
records that he `reered up one building near his own hous, furnished it with a
large table to the onely use and release of the poore, that thrice a weeke
resorted thither and were liberally provided for at his great expences'. It
has been suggested that the building mentioned in the sermon was the
banqueting house standing today on the northern corner of the island and would
therefore date it to between 1605 and 1618. The manor continued in the
Lewkenor family well into the 17th century before passing by marriage into the
Townshend family who held the manor until 1795. The Denham Parish Register of
1892 states that Sarah Halls, tenant at Denham Hall, records a detached
building `wainscotted with oak' standing on the west side of the house, which
her husband's mother used as a dairy. It has been suggested that this
building, no longer standing, may have been originally a detached kitchen
associated with the hall.

Denham Hall and associated conservatories, the wall connecting the Hall to the
banqueting house, the garage, fuel tank, all paved surfaces, fences, paths and
inspection covers are all 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 Denham Hall survives well. The island remains largely
undisturbed by post-medieval and modern activity and will retain
archaeological evidence for structures and other features relating to the
development and character of the site throughout its periods of occupation.
The remains of the banqueting house indicate the high status of the manor and
reflect the wealth and social standing of the inhabitants of Denham Hall. The
well documented historical association of the site with the Heigham and
Lewkenor families adds considerably to the interest of the moated site.

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

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Copinger, W, 'The Manors of Suffolk' in Manor of Denham, , Vol. V, (1909), 220-224
Copinger, W, 'The Manors of Suffolk' in Manor of Denham, , Vol. V, (1905), 220-224
Grade II 5/24, Denham Hall and gazebo with linking brick wall, (1955)
Grade II 5/24, Denham Hall and gazebo with linking brick wall, (1955)
Hervey, S H A (editor), Denham Parish Registers, 1905, SRO (Bury)
Hervey, S H A, Denham Parish Register, 1905, SRO (Bury)
Notes in SMR, Martin, E, Denham Hall, (1999)
SMR, Martin, E, Letter to Mrs Farrow, 1, Denham Hall, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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