Ancient Monuments

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Moated site immediately west of Bradfield Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.1815 / 52°10'53"N

Longitude: 0.7709 / 0°46'15"E

OS Eastings: 589533.946275

OS Northings: 257313.656814

OS Grid: TL895573

Mapcode National: GBR RH5.9PZ

Mapcode Global: VHKDK.9FWH

Entry Name: Moated site immediately west of Bradfield Hall

Scheduled Date: 2 November 1976

Last Amended: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019809

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33314

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Bradfield Combust All Saints

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a medieval moated site located in Bradfield Park,
immediately west of Bradfield Hall and about 270m east of All Saints' Church.

The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island, measuring up to 36m
north to south by 46m east to west which is raised by at least 1m above the
surrounding ground surface. This is surrounded by a moat measuring an average
18m in width and up to 4m in depth. Outer banks are visible along the west and
part of the north sides of the moat and are thought to have been constructed
with material dug from the moat.

The moated site has been identified as that of the manor, which was built for
the Abbot of Bury St Edmunds and destroyed by fire in 1327 during a period of
violent attack on Bury St Edmunds Abbey. Bradfield Hall, which is a Listed
Building Grade II constructed in 1857, is thought to be either the third or
fourth hall built on or near to the site.

The fencing along the north side, the wall along the east side and the surface
of the driveway to the north east 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.

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 immediately west of Bradfield Hall survives well. The island
is largely undisturbed by modern activity and will retain buried evidence for
structures and other features relating to former periods of occupation.
Evidence for earlier land use is likely to be preserved in buried soils
beneath the raised central platform and the outer bank. The buried silts in
the base of the moat will contain artefacts relating to the period of
occupation, and organic materials, including evidence for the local
environment in the past, are also likely to be preserved in waterlogged
deposits in the moat.

The historical associations between this site and Bury St Edmunds Abbey add to
the interest of the monument.

Comparisons between this site and other examples, both locally and more
widely, will provide valuable insights into developments in the nature of
settlements and society in the medieval period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Copinger, W, 'The Manors of Suffolk' in Bradfield, , Vol. 6, (1910), 254

Source: Historic England

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