Moated site at Cranley Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019670

Date first listed: 09-Mar-2001


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Cranley Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 09-Dec-2018 at 19:16:14.


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

County: Suffolk

District: Mid Suffolk (District Authority)

Parish: Eye

National Grid Reference: TM 15252 72845


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 Cranley Hall has been little disturbed by modern activity and will retain archaeological information concerning the various medieval or early post-medieval outbuildings and other features recorded on the map of 1626, as well as evidence for earlier occupation. Evidence relating to the construction and use of the site will also be preserved in the buried sections of the moat which, because they were infilled before the early 17th century, are likely to contain deposits of medieval date. The 17th century map which shows the moated site also provides details of surrounding fields and buildings, and further details of the historical context are provided by two inventories of the manor dated 1625 and 1626, all of which add to the interest of the monument. The moated site is associated with a smaller moat approximately 88m to the south east which may have contained a garden or orchard and which is the subject of a separate scheduling. These are among several located to the south east of the town of Eye which, as a group, provide valuable information about the medieval settlement of the area.


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


The monument includes a moated site located on a low spur to the south of Cranley Green Road and east of the site of Eye Park, which was created as a deer park soon after the Conquest. The moat has been partly infilled, but the western arm of it, with the western ends of the northern and southern arms, survives intact as a water-filled feature 11m to 16m wide. Further details are recorded on a map made in 1626 which depicts the longer, eastern part of the northern arm, with an entry or causeway about 22m wide flanked by spurs of the moat about 18m long which project outwards from the northern arm on either side. The projecting spur on the eastern side of the causeway survives as a water-filled feature although it has been enlarged externally to form a pond. Its west and south sides, however, preserve the internal angle between the spur and the main body of the northern arm to the east of it. The eastern arm, and all but the western end of the southern arm had evidently been infilled before the map was made and are not shown on it, but their probable line is indicated on the map by boundary fences and is still indicated on the eastern side by a depression in the ground surface which marks the site of an an infilled pond. The infilled parts of the moat, although no longer visible, will survive as buried features. The moat originally enclosed a quadrangular island approximately 70m in length WNW-ESE and widening from 18m at the western end to about 45m at the eastern end.

Cranley Hall, which is a Listed Building Grade II* dated to the 16th century, stands opposite the original entrance to the moated site. In addition to this building the 17th century map depicts various other features within the moated site, including a small walled courtyard and gate on the north side of the house, an outbuilding in a small enclosure to the south east of the house, a dovecote alongside the northern arm of the moat to the north east, and a formal parterre between the house and the western arm of the moat. The remains of these are believed to survive as buried features. In addition, evidence for occupation of the site in the medieval period is provided by finds discovered in the area of the infilled southern arm of the moat, including a medieval dagger and 15th century pottery.

The moated site is identified as that of a medieval manor house named after the de Cranley family who held it in the late 13th and 14th centuries. In the mid-16th century it was in the possession of Nicholas Everard, and around 1625 it was bought by Myles Edgar, for whom the map of 1626 was made.

Cranley Hall, a garden house which is a Listed Building Grade II dated to the 18th century, together with modern farm buildings and other outbuildings including the remains of a greenhouse, garden walls, fences and gates, modern track surfaces, service poles, clothes line poles, the supports for an oil tank, inspection chambers and a sewage treatment plant in the area of the south arm of the moat, are excluded from the scheduling, however 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: 30595

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Easton, T, Martin, E, 'Proc Suffolk Inst Archaeol' in Cranley Hall, , Vol. 37 pt 4, (1992), 395-398
Title: Maps...of Farms and Premises belonging to Sir Edward Kerrison Source Date: 1812 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SRO Ref. HD68: 484/763
Title: The Description of the Scite of the Mannor of Cranlye Hall Source Date: 1626 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: C20th copy in SRO Ref. HD78:2671 Eye

End of official listing