Moated site at Blundeston Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018966

Date first listed: 03-Apr-2000


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

County: Suffolk

District: Waveney (District Authority)

Parish: Blundeston

National Grid Reference: TM 51997 97041


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 Blundeston Hall survives well, and although there is evidence for possible limited modification of the moat in the later 19th century, the central island remains unencumbered by modern buildings. The monument as a whole will contain archaeological information concerning the construction and use of the site during the medieval period, and it is possible that organic materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past, will also be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the bottom of the moat.


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


The monument includes a moated site located in the bottom of a small valley on the west side of Blundeston Village, approximately 670m ESE of St Mary's Church. The present Blundeston Hall stands about 45m to the west. The moat ranges from about 10m to 14m in width on the west, south and east sides, with a narrower arm about 8m wide on the north, and is water-filled, fed by a stream which enters at the northern end of the eastern arm and issues at the southern end into a channel which feeds into Blundeston Decoy some 650m to the south west. The moat surrounds a sub-rectangular central island with internal dimensions of approximately 80m NNE-SSW by 36m across the southern end, narrowing to approximately 20m at the northern end. The eastern arm of the moat, and probably the northern arm also, are shown as being narrower on maps made in 1841 and 1843, but it is possible that subsequent modifications have done no more than reopen them to their original extent. Causeways, which in the early 19th century gave access to the interior across the southern arm and the southern end of the western arm, have been removed, although it is likely that the latter, at least, was not an original feature. The course of the stream to the north of the moat has also been altered.

The moated site is identified with the medieval manor of Blundeston Hall, either as the site of the medieval manor house itself or associated directly with it. The manor, one of two known to have existed in the parish, is documented from the early 13th century, when it was in the Lordship of the de Blundeston family. By the end of the 14th century it had passed to Sir Robert Herling, and around the mid-15th century was acquired by the Yarmouth family. In 1570 it was sold by Humphrey Yarmouth to Philip Sydnor and in 1651 was conveyed by his descendants to William Heveningham who, ten years later was convicted of treason, having been one of the judges at the trial of Charles I. Records of the sale of the manor to John Tasburgh in 1662 mention the capital (chief) house called Blundeston Hall and, prior to this, the record of a court hearing in the early 17th century includes reference to the fact that the house was known as Blundeston Hall in earlier manorial court records.

A modern footbridge across the northern arm of the moat, the modern weir over which the water issues at the southern end, and all fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath 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: 30578

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Copinger, W A, History of the Manors of Suffolk: Volume V, (1909), 9
Suckling, A, History and Antiquities of Suffolk, (1848), 307-315
Title: Blundeston Hall; sale map Source Date: 1917 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Suffolk R O (Lowestoft) Ref HD78-2671
Title: Map of Flixton and Blundeston Source Date: 1843 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Suffolk R O (Lowestoft) Ref 61/4
Title: Tithe Map, Blundeston Source Date: 1841 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: Suffolk R O (Lowestoft)

End of official listing