Moated site at Moat Farm, 230m north east of St Peter's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019538

Date first listed: 05-Jan-2001


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Moat Farm, 230m north east of St Peter's Church
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Suffolk

District: Babergh (District Authority)

Parish: Milden

National Grid Reference: TL 96017 46693


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 Moat Farm, 230m north east of St Peter's Church, survives well. The greater part remains largely undisturbed by post-medieval and modern activity and will retain archaeological evidence for structures and other features relating to the development and character of the site throughout its periods of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the moat will contain artefacts relating to the period of occupation and environmental evidence for the appearance of the landscape in which the moated site was set. Comparisons between this site and further examples, both locally and more widely, will provide valuable insights into the developments in the nature of settlement in medieval England.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site at Moat Farm, approximately 230m to the north east of Milden parish church. The moated site is thought to represent the manor of Bures or Bowers which belonged to the de Bures family in the beginning of the 14th century. Robert de Bures had free warren here in 1314. By 1365 the manor was held by Sir Grey de Sancto Claro, and it subsequently passed to the Spring family in the late 15th century. By 1575 the manor was known by the name of Bowers, and by the beginning of the 20th century was known as Bowery Farm. The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island, measuring 50m east-west by up to 30m north-south, raised about 0.5m above the surrounding ground surface. This is contained on all four sides by a water-filled moat measuring an average of 6m across, which has been enlarged externally at the north east corner to form a small pond-like feature. The causeway across the south arm of the moat is known to have been in use before 1839 and is believed to represent the original access to the island, whilst the wooden footbridge which crosses the south arm of the moat is modern. The centre of the island is occupied by Moat Farm, a timber-framed Listed Building Grade II. The house dates from the 16th century and is believed to represent a successor to an earlier house on the island. The farmhouse, the footbridge, the greenhouse, the septic tank, all walls, steps, spotlights, together with the surface of the patio, driveway and other modern made surfaces 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: 33299

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Copinger, W, 'The Manors of Suffolk' in The Manors of Suffolk, , Vol. Vol 1, (1905)
Title: Tithe Map and Apportionment of Milden parish Source Date: 1839 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SRO(Bury): T36/1,2

End of official listing