Ancient Monuments

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Moated site 300m south west of Sowley Green Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Great Thurlow, Suffolk

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Latitude: 52.1292 / 52°7'45"N

Longitude: 0.4876 / 0°29'15"E

OS Eastings: 570373.800245

OS Northings: 250796.912369

OS Grid: TL703507

Mapcode National: GBR PDQ.J3T

Mapcode Global: VHJH4.DRN3

Entry Name: Moated site 300m south west of Sowley Green Farm

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2001

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020139

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33311

County: Suffolk

Civil Parish: Great Thurlow

Traditional County: Suffolk

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Suffolk

Church of England Parish: Great Thurlow All Saints

Church of England Diocese: St.Edmundsbury and Ipswich


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Sowley Green. The moated site
includes a sub-rectangular island measuring a maximum of 60m east to west by
52m north to south. This is enclosed by a water-filled moat, measuring up to
12m wide and 2.5m deep. A shallow causeway across the west arm of the moat is
not thought to be original.

The pheasant feeder on the island and the drain cover on the northern edge of
the north arm of the moat 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 300m south west of Sowley Green Farm survives well. The island
displays little evidence of disturbance 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 its periods of
occupation. The buried silts in the base of the moat will contain artefacts
relating to the period of occupation, and organic evidence including evidence
for the local environment in the past, is also likely to be preserved in
waterlogged deposits in 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


SMR, Haverhill and District Archaeological Group, Sowley Green, (1978)

Source: Historic England

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