Moated site and associated fishpond to the south east of Barrow Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019805

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 09-May-2001


Ordnance survey map of Moated site and associated fishpond to the south east of Barrow Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 14-Dec-2018 at 09:46:05.


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

County: Suffolk

District: St. Edmundsbury (District Authority)

Parish: Barrow

National Grid Reference: TL 76281 64009


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 and associated fishpond to the south east of Barrow Hall survive with a variety of original features and is a good example of a high status moated domestic enclosure. Although the central island has undergone some disturbance from ploughing in the past, it is known to retain buried remains of the historically documented 16th century manor house towards the centre of the island and also displays earthworks relating to associated formal gardens. The 16th century map depicting a house on the island along with other historical documentation adds considerably to the interest of the monument.

The ponds to the north form an integral part of the medieval/post-medieval moated manorial complex and provides further evidence for its economy and status.

Evidence for earlier land use and the local environment will survive in buried soils beneath the internal and external banks of the island and within the silts of the moat and fishpond.

Comparisons between this site and with further examples, both locally and more widely, will provide valuable insights into the development and 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 and associated fishpond about 400m to the north of Barrow Green and 600m SSE of All Saints' Church.

The moated site includes a rectangular island, measuring up to 96m north to south by 90m east to west. An inner bank along the western and southern sides, which measures up to 9m wide and approximately 2m high, is all that remains of a bank which originally extended around all but the north west corner of the island and may have originally been constructed as a raised walkway around a formal garden. The island is surrounded by a waterfilled moat measuring an average 21m in width and up to 4m in depth. Outer banks, measuring up to 12m wide and in places 1.5m high are visible along the north, east, south and part of the western side. These banks are thought to have been constructed with material dug from the moat. A causeway across the western arm of the moat is known to have been in use before 1597 and is believed to represent the original access to the island. An extension to the western arm of the moat runs northwards for 86m with a bank on its east side. This extension is marked on a map of 1840 as a separate pond. A further pond, on the same north to south alignment as the extension, measures 65m long by 20m wide. It is thought that these ponds represent either medieval fishponds or perhaps ornamental garden features associated with an early post-medieval formal garden to the north of the moat.

The moated site is thought to be the site of the manor of Barrow, mentioned in the 12th and 13th centuries as belonging to the Passelewe family. By 1540 the manor had been acquired by Sir Clement Heigham. Sir Clement is recorded as building a manor house at Barrow in the 1550s, and a 1779 map copying one drawn up in 1597 depicts a manor house on the moated site. The map depicts Barrow Hall as an L-shaped group of buildings consisting of a double-storeyed main range running north to south and a single storey range running east to west. The local historian, J Gage records that Barrow Hall was standing until the mid-18th century and that fragments of it were still standing within the moat in 1838. Building material has been recorded on the surface of the island over the past 30 years and an iron key, thought to be 13th century in date, and a fragment of a bronze belt end have both been found on the moated site.

The 16th century manor house may have replaced an earlier medieval building on the moat island. The present Barrow Hall, which is a Listed Building Grade II dated to the 17th century, is sited to the north west of the moated site.

The fencing and gates, on and around the moated site and the horse exerciser on the island are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 33309

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Gage, J, History of Suffolk Thingoe Hundred, (1838), 16
Copinger, W, 'The Manors of Suffolk' in The Manors of Suffolk, , Vol. 7, (1911), 3-11
Martin, E, 'PSIA' in Two exceptional Tudor houses in Hitcham, , Vol. 37 Pt 3, (1991), 203
Title: Copy of 1597 map Source Date: 1779 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SRO (Bury): 862/3
Title: Tithe Map of Barrow Source Date: 1841 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SRO (Bury): T11/1,2

End of official listing