Moated site and associated pond at Brookhall Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018962

Date first listed: 03-Jul-2000


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and associated pond at Brookhall Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Jan-2019 at 16:27:44.


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

County: Suffolk

District: Waveney (District Authority)

Parish: Wissett

National Grid Reference: TM 37071 81369


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 Brookhall Farm is of an unusual form and the greater part of it survives well. The moat, the two islands which it encloses and the associated pond will retain archaeological information concerning its construction and subsequent occupation during the medieval period. Organic materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past are likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the moat and pond. Evidence for earlier land use may also be contained in buried soils beneath the bank between the south eastern arm of the moat and the pond.


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


The monument includes a moated site located in an isolated position near the northern end of Wissett parish, close to the eastern parish boundary. The moat, which is around 2.5m deep and contains water, ranges from approximately 7m to 10m in width and surrounds the greater part of a quadrangular central island. Parts of the moat enclosing the north western corner of the island are believed to have been infilled but will survive as buried features and are included in the scheduling. The site is terraced into a slight west-facing slope, and the outer edge of the north eastern arm of the moat forms a scarp up to 1m high above the level of the ground to the west.

The central island is divided into two enclosures of unequal size by an internal arm of the moat which extends north eastwards from the main south western arm and parallel to the main south eastern arm. The main enclosure measures about 87m north west-south east internally and is approximately 75m wide at the north western end, narrowing to 42m. The smaller, rectangular enclosure to the south east of this has internal dimensions of approximately 45m north east-south west by 18m. Access between the two is provided by a causeway at the north eastern end of the internal arm of the moat which separates them. A second, slightly sunken causeway across the north eastern end of the main south eastern arm opposite this is thought not to be an original feature.

Parallel to the south eastern arm of the moat and separated from it by a low bank about 6m wide there is a roughly rectangular pond, possibly constructed as a fishpond, the north eastern end of which is linked to the south eastern corner of the moat by a channel about 3m wide, now partly infilled and dry. A shorter channel at the south western end links it to an irregular pond which extends from the south western end of the moat and issues into a stream running off to the south east.

Brookhall Farmhouse, which is a Listed Building Grade II and dated in part to the 16th century, stands within the larger moated enclosure and is excluded from the scheduling, as are the associated outbuildings, farm buildings to the north east of the house, yard walls, modern paving, the modern surfaces of driveway and farmyard, inspection chambers, the supports of fences and garden trelliswork, a swing, clothes line posts, garden rockeries and the concrete supports of a footbridge which formerly crossed the south western arm of the moat, 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: 30574

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing