Moated site at Abbey Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017915

Date first listed: 27-Apr-1998


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Abbey Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1017915 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 09:27:45.


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

County: Suffolk

District: Suffolk Coastal (District Authority)

Parish: Culpho

National Grid Reference: TM 20722 49303


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.

The moated site at Abbey Farm survives well, with the complete circuit of the moat intact, and the greater part of the central island unencumbered by modern buildings. The monument as a whole will retain archaeological information relating to its original construction and later use, including remains of buildings and other structures on the central island. The waterlogged deposits in the moat are also likely to contain well-preserved organic materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past. The historically documented association with Leiston Abbey adds further interest to the site.


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


The monument includes a moated site situated approximately 350m north west of St Botolph's Church on level ground to the north of the valley of the River Fynn. The moat, which is silted but seasonally wet, ranges from approximately 6m to 14m in width and surrounds a sub-rectangular central island with maximum dimensions of approximately 92m north-south by 65m east-west. A causeway approximately 5m wide across the middle of the western arm gives access to the interior. Abbey Farmhouse, dated in part to the 17th century and Listed Grade II, stands in the south western quadrant of the island and is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

The manor to which the moated site relates was held in the 13th century by the de Valoines family and in 1280 was given by William de Valoines, with the parish church, to Leiston Abbey. From that time until the Dissolution of the monasteries it formed part of the Abbey estates, and after the Dissolution was granted by the Crown, firstly to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk and brother-in-law of King Henry VII, and then to Thomas Bacon of Hessett.

Abbey Farmhouse, the garage and other associated outbuildings and structures, including a coal bunker and the supports for an oil tank are excluded from the scheduling, together with all garden walls and paving, modern fences and gates, driveway and path surfaces, inspection chambers, and a lamp post and service pole adjacent to the drive, 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: 30526

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Copinger, W A, History of the Manors of Suffolk: Volume III, (1907), 37
Bamford, H M, (1997)
Sufolk Coastal; Culpho, CUP 006, (1986)

End of official listing