Moated site 200m west of Otley Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

East Suffolk (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TM 20452 56286

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 200m west of Otley Hall survives well and the form, with an outer bank and ditch, is unusual. Its relationship to Otley Hall is of particular interest. The site will retain important archaeological information concerning its construction and use, and evidence of earlier land use will be preserved in soils buried beneath the bank and the raised surface of the central island.


The monument includes a moated site located on high ground, 850m north of Otley village. The central island of the moated site is rectangular, with dimensions of 23m east-west by 19m north-south, and its surface is raised approximately 0.5m above the prevailing ground level. It is surrounded by a water-filled moat measuring 10m to 12m in width, without a causeway. On the north and west sides, and around the south-western corner, there is also an external bank measuring 0.6m in height and up to 6m in width, with an outer ditch 1m deep and between 4.5m and 8m in width. The outer ditch is normally dry. An extension of its western arm, projecting northward from the north- western corner for a distance of approximately 9m, has been filled in, although it survives as a buried feature and is marked by a hollow in the ground surface. The eastern end of the short southern arm of the outer ditch is joined to the adjacent arm of the moat by a short overflow channel, 0.3m deep and 3.5m in width, which issues into a field ditch. The site is on land which formerly appertained to Otley Hall. Its small size and its location suggest that it was constructed to contain a building such as might have been used as a place of retreat from the hall.

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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