Ancient Monuments

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Moated site at Doveden Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Whepstead, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.1989 / 52°11'56"N

Longitude: 0.6642 / 0°39'51"E

OS Eastings: 582171.58132

OS Northings: 258974.421369

OS Grid: TL821589

Mapcode National: GBR QFJ.0RN

Mapcode Global: VHJGV.GZHQ

Entry Name: Moated site at Doveden Hall

Scheduled Date: 9 May 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019819

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33306

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Whepstead

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Whepstead St Petronilla

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Doveden Hall, 1.35km from
Whepstead parish church.
The moat island is roughly square, measuring up to 46m across, and is
surrounded by a waterfilled moat measuring an average 10m in width and up to
2m deep. A causeway across the west arm of the moat is believed to represent
the original access to the island, whilst a brick bridge which crosses the
south arm of the moat is believed to be later in date. A stable block, which
abuts the outer edge of the western arm of the moat to the south of the
causeway, is not included in the scheduling.
The centre of the island is occupied by Doveden Hall, a Listed Building Grade
II of 15th century date. The hall takes the form of a three cell open hall
house, with a projecting cross wing at the south end which was extended in the
16th century. The moated site is thought to represent the manor of Doveton
Hall, also known as Dorrington Hall and Duffin Hall which was given, with
associated lands, to the Abbey of St Edmunds in 1292. In 1545, after the
Dissolution of the Monasteries, the manor was granted by the Crown to Sir
George Somerset of Badmondisfield. It was later sold to Thomas Bacon, and in
1550 it passed to Roger Frost and continued in the Frost family until 1688.
Doveden Hall, all outhouses and sheds, walls and fences, the bridge across the
southern arm of the moat, and the swimming pool, together with all modern man-
made surfaces, are excluded from the scheduling; although the ground beneath
all 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 at Doveden Hall survives well. The greater part remains
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 the periods of occupation. The buried silts
in the base of the moat will contain artefacts relating to its occupation, and
organic remains including evidence for the local environment in the past are
also likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the moat.
Comparisons between this site and other 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
Gage, J, History of Suffolk Thingoe Hundred, (1838)
Copinger, W, 'The Manors of Suffolk' in The Manors of Suffolk, , Vol. VII, (1911)
4/127, Doveden Hall, Whepstead, (1955)

Source: Historic England

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