Moated site and ponds 180m north west of Hill Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007677
Date first listed: 11-Jul-1997
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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 33146 73773
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 and ponds 180m north west of Hill Farm survive well and are unencumbered by modern building. The monument will retain important archaeological information concerning the construction and use of the site, including evidence of occupation preserved in deposits on the central platform.
The monument includes a moated site and ponds located on a slight south facing
slope on a spur above the north side of the valley of the River Blyth. Three
arms of the moat are visible as ditches, partly silted and now dry, which
define the north east, north west and south east sides of a sub-rectangular
central platform; a fourth arm on the south west side has been filled in,
although it survives as a buried feature, marked on the surface by a slight
scarp on the line of the inner edge, and by the presence of sedge tussocks
growing in the damp soil of the fill. A field boundary, which is shown on
older maps, defines the approximate line of the outer edge. The central
platform has maximum dimensions of 70m north east-south west by 55m north
west-south east, and the moat ditches measure from 7m to 8m in width, the
three which remain open varying in depth from 1.8m at the upper, northern end
of the site, to 0.8m at the southern end. The moated site thus has overall
dimensions of approximately 85m by 70m. A linear pond extends south westwards
from the southern angle of the moat, continuing the line of the south eastern
arm and issuing into a smaller field ditch at its south western end. It
measures approximately 72m in length, 4m to 5m in width and up to 1.8m in
depth, with a rectangular, shelving, external projection, measuring
approximately 5m by 4m, midway along the east side.
Within the moated site, towards the northern end of the central platform, are traces of an internal pond, connected to the north eastern arm of the moat by a channel approximately 18m in length. Both the pond and the channel have become largely infilled, although they survive as buried features. The channel remains visible as a linear depression approximately 1m wide and 0.3m deep, and the pond as a damp hollow up to 0.5m deep, containing a thick growth of sedge and willow herb, and measuring approximately 18m north east-south west by 8m south east-north west.
Building materials and fragments of pottery dating from the 13th to the 17th centuries, found on the surface of the interior and in ploughsoil around the outer edge of the moat, demonstrate that the site was occupied during and after the medieval period.
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: 21313
Legacy System: RSM
Bamford, H M, (1992)
Recorded in Suffolk SMR, Tacon, J, (1973)
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