Moated site immediately west of Bradfield Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019809

Date first listed: 02-Nov-1976

Date of most recent amendment: 09-May-2001


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

County: Suffolk

District: St. Edmundsbury (District Authority)

Parish: Bradfield Combust with Stanningfield

National Grid Reference: TL 89533 57314


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 immediately west of Bradfield Hall survives well. The island is largely undisturbed by modern activity and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to former periods of occupation. Evidence for earlier land use is likely to be preserved in buried soils beneath the raised central platform and the outer bank. The buried silts in the base of the moat will contain artefacts relating to the period of occupation, and organic materials, including evidence for the local environment in the past, are also likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the moat.

The historical associations between this site and Bury St Edmunds Abbey add to the interest of the monument.

Comparisons between this site and other examples, both locally and more widely, will provide valuable insights into developments in the nature of settlements and society in the medieval period.


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


The monument includes a medieval moated site located in Bradfield Park, immediately west of Bradfield Hall and about 270m east of All Saints' Church.

The moated site includes a roughly rectangular island, measuring up to 36m north to south by 46m east to west which is raised by at least 1m above the surrounding ground surface. This is surrounded by a moat measuring an average 18m in width and up to 4m in depth. Outer banks are visible along the west and part of the north sides of the moat and are thought to have been constructed with material dug from the moat.

The moated site has been identified as that of the manor, which was built for the Abbot of Bury St Edmunds and destroyed by fire in 1327 during a period of violent attack on Bury St Edmunds Abbey. Bradfield Hall, which is a Listed Building Grade II constructed in 1857, is thought to be either the third or fourth hall built on or near to the site.

The fencing along the north side, the wall along the east side and the surface of the driveway to the north east 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.


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

Legacy System number: 33314

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Copinger, W, 'The Manors of Suffolk' in Bradfield, , Vol. 6, (1910), 254

End of official listing