Moat Farm moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011327

Date first listed: 08-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Moat Farm moated site
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 11:47:15.


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

County: Suffolk

District: Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)

Parish: Cretingham

National Grid Reference: TM 23523 61381


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Moat Farm moated site survives well, the earthworks being clearly marked and the island largely unencumbered by later building. Evidence concerning earlier occupation and use will be preserved on the island, and organic material will be contained in water logged deposits both here and in the ditches. It is a good example of a moat which is still part of a working drainage system on a low-lying site on clay.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes a moated site located on level ground 100m west of a minor tributary of the River Deben which marks the boundary between the parishes of Cretingham and Brandeston. It survives as a sub-rectangular island measuring 70m north-south by 55m east-west, surrounded by a water-filled moat averaging 10m in width and approximately 1.5m in depth except in the north east corner, where there is a sump 3m deep. Access to the island is provided by a causeway 5m wide across the northern arm. The southern and eastern arms of the moat and the eastern part of the northern arm were originally up to 20m, 16m and 15m wide respectively, but have become narrowed as a result of infilling with silt, clay and topsoil on the inner side. The original inner edge is clearly visible as a break 0.4m - 0.6m high in the ground surface, and the infill is partly waterlogged. The western arm is interrupted by a causeway which is not original, and its southern half, which has also been narrowed by the filling of the inner edge, is connected to a field drain. A projection of the eastern arm measuring 8m in width (reduced from an original 15m) extends approximately 30m southwards from the south eastern angle of the moat. Both this and the north eastern angle are connected by ditches to the adjacent stream. Along the outer edges of the eastern arm and around the north western angle are slight, irregular banks approximately 1m wide. Moat Farm house, which is listed Grade II is timber-framed and plastered and has the date 1602 carved on the gable-end tie-beam, stands in the middle of the island. The house and outbuildings are excluded from the scheduling, as are a shed to the west of the causeway, a greenhouse within the moated area, all paved surfaces and the driveway, a concrete covered tank to the west of the house and also a service pole to the north east of the house and all fencing 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: 21296

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Suffolk: Volume I, (1911), 607
Pate, R, (1992)
Title: Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing