Burgate Hall moated site


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017331

Date first listed: 02-Jul-1999


Ordnance survey map of Burgate Hall moated site
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Suffolk

District: Mid Suffolk (District Authority)

Parish: Burgate

National Grid Reference: TM 07934 75642


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.

Burgate Hall moated site survives well and the greater part of the central platform remains undisturbed by modern building. The moat and the raised central platform will contain archaeological information concerning the construction of the site and its occupation in the medieval and early post-medieval periods. Organic materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past, are likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the moat. The monument has additional interest in relation to the adjacent ringwork which is believed to be an earlier site of Burgate Manor.


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


The monument includes a moated site located about 300m west of St Mary's Church and 250m ENE of a medieval ringwork in Burgate Wood, the subject of a separate scheduling.

The moat surrounds a sub-rectangular central platform which has maximum internal dimensions of 95m north-south by 65m and is raised approximately 0.5m above the prevailing ground level except at the southern end. The western, northern and eastern arms of the moat itself, which range between 9m and 13m, remain open to a depth of up to 1.75m and contain water. The southern arm has been partly infilled but, where visible, is approximately 15m wide. The western end, enclosing the south western corner of the central platform, remains water filled, and a hollow up to 1m deep in the ground surface with a well defined scarp along the inner (northern) edge marks its continuation for a further 17m, beyond which there was perhaps a central causeway giving access to the interior. The inner edge of the eastern end is marked by a very slight, shallow scarp. Hall Farmhouse stands just inside the inner edge of the southern arm, opposite the possible causeway, and is thought to incorporate part of a medieval gatehouse dated to around 1400. The house is Listed Grade II* and excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

The moated site is identified as the site of Burgate manor house, probably built to replace an earlier one within the ringwork nearby. The manor was held by the de Burgate family throughout much of the medieval period, the last of that name being Sir William Burgate who died in 1409 and whose tomb, with monumental brass, is in the parish church. After his death it passed to his daughters and their husbands, Sir Robert Swyneford and John Rookwood. In 1545 it was granted to Thomas Bacon and shortly after that passed to Sir Nicholas Bacon. In 1587 it was leased to William Morrys of Burgate, with the stipulation that he should build a new hall and parlour.

Hall Farmhouse, all associated outbuildings and sheds, garden walls, fences, gates and garden railings, the surfaces of modern yards, driveways and paths, inspection chambers, an oil tank by the house, a stand pipe, service poles, and a modern timber footbridge across the western arm of the moat are excluded from the scheduling, although 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: 30570

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Copinger, W A, The Manors of Suffolk, Volume 3, (1909), 244f
Hill, P O, Echoes from the Past Life of Burgate, (1932)
Farrer, E, 'Proceedings Suffolk Inst Archaeol' in The Burgate Hall Charters, , Vol. 19, (1927), 352-354

End of official listing