Moated site at Dennington Hall


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


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Dennington Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 26-May-2019 at 05:08:53.


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

Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TM 29008 68634

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 Dennington Hall is prominent among a group of moats which survive in and immediately around the parish of Dennington. It survives well and retains particularly good archaeological evidence, in the walls revetting the inner face of the moat, of the substantial medieval house which once occupied the central platform. Further evidence of medieval occupation is known to be contained in deposits on the platform.


The monument includes the moated site of old Dennington Hall, located 40m south of the present Dennington Hall, and approximately 1.5m north east of Dennington Village. The water-filled, sub-rectangular moat measures between 10m and 16m in width and between 2m and 3m in depth and encloses an island with maximum dimensions of 55m north - south by 46m east - west. It is fed by surface drainage, and the intake is by a ditch which runs southwards from the centre of the southern arm. A shallow, shelving cattle pond measuring approximately 15m north - south has been dug to the east of this, in the outer edge of the southern arm of the moat, and the outer edge of the northern arm at its eastern end appears to have been enlarged for a similar purpose. There is no causeway.

Around much of the inner face of the moat is a revetment of coursed flints with a facing of brick which survives below water level on the north side and above water to some extent on the east side; elsewhere it is fragmentary. The flint core of the revetment is visible above water on the east side, particularly at the north end, and at the north end of the west side, where there is a projection measuring approximately 0.5m in thickness and 2m in width. The central part of the west side is revetted for about 27m of its length by limestone blocks approximately 0.5m x 0.2m x 0.3m in size. The footings of three brick walls have been observed in section in the weathered upper edge of the north side, towards its eastern end.

An internal bank approximately 0.5m high and 4m - 5m in width runs across the northern end of the island, curving across the north western and north eastern corners. The island is no longer occupied, but evidence of building and medieval occupation, including brick, peg tile and sherds of medieval pottery, have been recorded from the surface of the whole area.

In the 12th century the manor of Dennington was held by Sir John de Bovile. In the late 14th century it was held by Sir William Wingfield, and remained in the possession of the Wingfield family until 1538, when the manor, with Dennington Hall, passed to Sir Anthony Rous of Dennington Place.

A modern wooden bridge which gives access to the site is excluded from the scheduling, as are a greenhouse on the island, fences on the island and bordering or immediately adjacent to the moat, adjacent access tracks, and also yard surfaces and standing walls on and immediately adjacent to the eastern outer edge of the moat, but the ground beneath all these 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:


Books and journals
Copinger, W A, History of the Manors of Suffolk, (1909), 30-33
NAR TM 26 NE 18,
Notes on watching brief, Suffolk SMR DNN 001, (1990)
Rous, R C, (1992)


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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