Two moated sites and associated ponds at Linstead Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Suffolk (District Authority)
Linstead Magna
National Grid Reference:
TM 32160 76079

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 two moated sites at Linstead Hall, together with the associated earthworks and ponds, survive well and will retain valuable archaeological information concerning their construction and use. The different character of the two moats and the variety of associated features, illustrate the diversity of this class of monument and suggest a complex sequence of development on this site.


The monument includes two adjacent moated sites, with associated earthworks and two ponds, the most northerly of which is located 250m south-east of the site of St Peter's Church. The two moated sites are both of sub-rectangular form but unequal in size and aligned on slightly different axes. The larger, within which Linstead Hall is situated, is to the north and north-west of the smaller and the distance between them at closest, where the south-eastern corner of the one approaches the north-western arm of the other, is 5m. To the east of this point is a small enclosure with internal dimensions of 15m north- west/south-east by 13m south-west/north-east, defined on the west and south sides by the converging arms of the two moats and to the north and east by an L-shaped external projection from the eastern arm of the larger moat. The smaller of the moated sites has maximum overall dimensions of 68m north- east/south-west by 58m north-west/south-east, and includes a central island, measuring approximately 53m by 43m, enclosed by a wet ditch ranging in width between 6m and 9m, and with an estimated depth of 2m. The south- western arm of the moat is crossed by a causeway which has recently been repaired and widened. At the eastern corner, an extension of the south-eastern arm forms an external pond measuring 13m north-west/south-east by 10m south- west/north-east. The second and larger moat is more regularly rectilinear in form, which suggests that it may be somewhat later in date. It has overall dimensions of 100m north-south by 98m east-west and the southern, western and north-western sides of the central platform are surrounded by a ditch between 4m and 5m in width and up to 1.5m deep, partly silted and seasonally wet. An outlet near the northern end of the western arm takes the overflow to an adjacent pond which measures approximately 28m east-west by 15m and which is included in the scheduling. The western half of the central platform is divided laterally by an internal ditch, approximately 0.5m deep and 3m to 4m wide, which leads eastwards from the western arm. A causeway across the southern arm gives access to the interior. The eastern arm, which is wet, is broader and more irregular than the rest, ranging from 5m to 10m in width. It has been filled in at the northern end, together with part of the eastern end of the northern arm, leaving an oval pond at the north-eastern corner, but the infilled section survives as a buried feature marked by a hollow approximately 0.25m deep in the ground surface. Fifty metres to the north of this moat, and connected to it by a channel, is a large, sub-rectangular pond measuring approximately 108m north-west/south- east and up to 38m across. The channel, which has become largely infilled, is visible as a linear depression in the ground surface, and links an eastward projection of the pond, near its southern end, to the northern end of the eastern arm of the moat. Linstead Hall, part of which is dated to the 17th century and Listed Grade II, stands within the north-eastern angle of the moat. Excluded from the scheduling are the listed Hall (together with the stables and other outbuildings), the driveway, the paving adjacent to the house, all service pipes and inspection chambers, the tennis court and associated fencing on the west side of the central platform, all gates, a cattle grid across the causeway on the south side of the larger moat and a cattle trough on the east side of the small, partial enclosure between the two moats, but the ground beneath all these buildings and features is included.

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:
Legacy System:


Miller, I, AM 107, (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

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