Moated site at Letheringham Lodge
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007674
Date first listed: 11-May-1994
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: TM 27597 57029
Reasons for Designation
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 of Letheringham Lodge survives well and is of unusual type. In location, form and function it contrasts with the moated manorial site of Letheringham Hall which lies 1km to the north east. This contrast between the two sites, which are connected historically, is of interest in the study of land holding and land use in the area during the medieval and early post-medieval periods, particularly in relation to the Wingfield family.
The monument includes the moated site of Letheringham Lodge, prominently
located on a spur between the River Deben to the north and Potsford Brook
which lies 450m to the south. The water-filled moat is rectangular and
measures between 7m and 9m in width and approximately 3m in depth, with
overall dimensions of 40m east/west by 35m north/south. Its south-eastern
corner is extended by a pond approximately 1m deep which is a modern feature
and is not included in the scheduling. A brick revetment is visible on
the inner edge at the south-western corner and mortared flints and brick have
also been observed in the moat at the south-eastern corner. Access to the
interior is provided by modern timber footbridges across the western and
southern arms, the southern bridge being supported on brickwork which is
included in the scheduling.
Letheringham Lodge, which is dated to the later 15th or early 16th century,
with an early 17th century extension, occupies almost the whole of the
northern part of the interior, amounting to more than 50 per cent of the total
area of the island. The earlier part of the structure is square and centrally
positioned. The Lodge was formerly part of the Letheringham Hall estate and
carved panelling of early 16th-century date, taken from it in the early 20th
century and now in Broddick Castle, Isle of Arran, includes heraldic motifs
which link it with Sir Anthony Wingfield of Letheringham Hall. The initials
E W, carved with the date 1610 above the entrance to the later wing, are
thought to refer to Elizabeth Wingfield, widow of Sir Thomas Wingfield (died
1609). It has been identified as a place of resort for the enjoyment of the
scenery and healthy air, away from the damp, riverside situation of
The house, which is Listed Grade II*, is excluded from the scheduling, as are
all associated outbuildings and walls, other than the revetment as described
above, all fences, the modern timber footbridges, modern piling and sandbags
retaining the outer edge of the moat, all paths and driveways and all service
pipes and inspection chambers, but the ground beneath all these features is
MAP EXTRACT 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.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 21301
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Martin, E, Easton, T, 'Proc Suff Inst Archaeol' in Moats In The Landscape: Parham And Letheringham, , Vol. 27, (1992), 399-401
Martin, E, (1992)
Martin, E, Suffolk SMR, Letheringham Parish File, (1989)
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing