Moated site at Doveden Hall


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019819

Date first listed: 09-May-2001


Ordnance survey map of Moated site at Doveden Hall
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 11:06:56.


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

County: Suffolk

District: St. Edmundsbury (District Authority)

Parish: Whepstead

National Grid Reference: TL 82170 58974


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 Doveden Hall survives well. The greater part remains undisturbed by post-medieval and modern activity and will retain buried evidence for structures and other features relating to the development and character of the site throughout the periods of occupation. The buried silts in the base of the moat will contain artefacts relating to its occupation, and organic remains including evidence for the local environment in the past are also likely to be preserved in waterlogged deposits in the moat. Comparisons between this site and other 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 at Doveden Hall, 1.35km from Whepstead parish church. The moat island is roughly square, measuring up to 46m across, and is surrounded by a waterfilled moat measuring an average 10m in width and up to 2m deep. A causeway across the west arm of the moat is believed to represent the original access to the island, whilst a brick bridge which crosses the south arm of the moat is believed to be later in date. A stable block, which abuts the outer edge of the western arm of the moat to the south of the causeway, is not included in the scheduling. The centre of the island is occupied by Doveden Hall, a Listed Building Grade II of 15th century date. The hall takes the form of a three cell open hall house, with a projecting cross wing at the south end which was extended in the 16th century. The moated site is thought to represent the manor of Doveton Hall, also known as Dorrington Hall and Duffin Hall which was given, with associated lands, to the Abbey of St Edmunds in 1292. In 1545, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the manor was granted by the Crown to Sir George Somerset of Badmondisfield. It was later sold to Thomas Bacon, and in 1550 it passed to Roger Frost and continued in the Frost family until 1688. Doveden Hall, all outhouses and sheds, walls and fences, the bridge across the southern arm of the moat, and the swimming pool, together with all modern man- made surfaces, are excluded from the scheduling; although the ground beneath all 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: 33306

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Gage, J, History of Suffolk Thingoe Hundred, (1838)
Copinger, W, 'The Manors of Suffolk' in The Manors of Suffolk, , Vol. VII, (1911)
4/127, Doveden Hall, Whepstead, (1955)

End of official listing