Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Depden Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Depden, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.1816 / 52°10'53"N

Longitude: 0.5933 / 0°35'35"E

OS Eastings: 577393.28249

OS Northings: 256877.012321

OS Grid: TL773568

Mapcode National: GBR QFM.6T7

Mapcode Global: VHJH0.7FHF

Entry Name: Moated site at Depden Hall

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019804

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33308

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Depden

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Depden St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Depden Hall, 480m to the north
west of Depden parish church.

The moated site includes a sub-rectangular island, measuring up to 76m north
to south by 60m east to west. This is surrounded by a water-filled moat
measuring an average 14m in width. A modern brick bridge provides access to
the island across the north arm of the moat. In 1984 the north arm, which was
previously infilled and survived as a buried feature, was re-excavated in
order to create a continuous moat around the island. These excavations
revealed the remains of brick and stone revetting around the north side of the
island, which are considered to date from the 17th century. The revetting is
aligned with a group of timbers, believed to be the remains of a timber
bridge, which would have, at one time, crossed the north arm of the moat.
Drainage of the moat in 1994 exposed the remains of another line of walling,
slightly to the north, which has been dated to the Tudor period. This earlier
wall appears to have continued around the north east, and perhaps also the
north west, corners of the island. Both the 16th century walling/revetment and
the 17th century revetting along the north arm of the moat are included in the
scheduling. Depden Hall, which is a Listed Building Grade II and dates from
the 17th century, is sited towards the north west corner of the island.

The moated site is thought to represent the manor of Depden, which was held
from 1275 until the late 14th century by the de Wancey family. In the 15th
century it came into the ownership of Thomas Gournay and continued in his
family until well into the 16th century. By the end of the 16th century the
manor was held by John Jermyn and his son Thomas before being passed into the
Coell family who retained ownership up until the late 17th century.

Depden Hall and its associated cellar, the modern brick bridge and the modern
brickwork above the 17th century revetting, the summer house, the jetty and
associated steps at the south west corner of the island, the oil tank, all
modern walls, sheds, outhouses, fences, gates, together with the surface of
the 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 Depden Hall survives well with a variety of early features
and additional structural remains. The greater part remains largely
undisturbed by post-medieval and modern activity and will retain buried
evidence for additional structures and other features relating to the
development and character of the manorial site throughout its periods of
occupation. Buried silts in the base of the south, east and west arms of
the moat will contain artefacts relating to the period of occupation. Organic
remains including evidence for the local environment in the past are also
likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the moat. In addition, it is
believed that further remains of the timber bridge, possibly representing the
original access point to the island, will survive in the silts and waterlogged
deposits of the moat.

Comparisons between this site and with 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 Depden, , Vol. V, (1909), 231-233
SMR, Carr, R, Site visit notes, (1984)
SMR, Martin, E A, Site visit notes, (1994)

Source: Historic England

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