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Suffolk HER Number (Pref. Ref.):MTT 003
Unique number (MonUID):MSF1026
Type of Record:Monument
NGR:TM 360 886


Mettingham Castle - current castle and its predecessor stood within the same grounds. Original may have been fortified manor house only. Also College. Scheduled & Listed Building.

Monument Types

Associated Finds

  • SPOON (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • POTTERY (12th century to IPS: Late Medieval Transitional - 1102 AD to 1600 AD)
  • BRICK (13th century to 16th century - 1201 AD to 1500 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (15th century to 18th century - 1401 AD to 1700 AD)

Protected Status

  • Listed Building (II)
  • Scheduled Ancient Monument SF70: METTINGHAM CASTLE


See CRN 00468 for seal of Mettingham College.
The first castle, or perhaps fortified manor house, of the de Norwich family stood within the small moat (at TM 3600 8865). It was rebuilt on a larger scale, circa 1343 in the moated area to the N (at TM 3596 8871). To the S is a later moated enclosure (at TM 3597 8862) which contains the earliest moat in its NE corner, and it is here that the modern Mettingham Castle stands. Other ditches to the E may have formed part of C14 fortifications. The gatehouse to the N, remains of the barbican and other wall fragments survive (S3).
The college (originally founded at Raveningham in 1350 by Sir John de Norwich) was settled at Mettingham Castle in 1394, where it remained until its dissolution in 1542. The collegiate buildings were erected in the small moated site where the first castle stood, and some fragments of wall still stand (S3).
History given in (S1) & description in (R2).
Listed Grade II prior to scheduling in March 1953 (S4).
Visible remains: a) N front, almost complete, with superb gatehouse
b) a length (40m) of the S curtain wall
c) an altered fragment of the domestic block
d) ruins of the quadrangular college with corner towers on SE and SW angles (S4).
Ruins in fairly good condition but extremely heavily covered in ivy. Cracks appearing in W end of curtain wall and a hole in one of the walls of quadrangular college. Moat water filled (S4).
`Brass' spoon taken from out of the moat at Mettingham Castle in 1824 and exhibited to the SIA meeting at Bungay on 9 October 1861 (S6).
Licence to crenellate granted 1342 to Sir John de Norwich, 1st Lord Norwich. Site consisted of two conjoined moated areas or baileys - much of the northern one has been infilled but most of the southern one is intact and water-filled. The northern bailey was originally surrounded by a mortared flint curtain wall, most of the north side of this, with a tall gatehouse, still survives, together with a shorter length on the south side. Between the two baileys is a small, roughly quadrangular moat containing the remains of a mortared flint keep or tower. This inner moat is broader and less regular than the outer ones. Within the N bailey, W side, is a fragment of a ruined building with mortared flint walls, possibly part of a guests lodgings. A survey of 1562 refers to a mansion house on the S side of the N bailey, which has now disappeared (see parish file for details of this and the site in general). This building certainly seems to have contained the lodgings of the Master of the College in the early C16. By 1562 the `keep' or inner castle was `utterly decayed' and there must be some doubt as to whether it housed the Secular College that occupied the site from 1394 to 1542. The present house on the S bailey dates from 1880, replacing an 1820s house that was situated on the W side of the N bailey. The house demolished in the 1820s may have been the mansion referred to in 1562, or a part of it (S9). The barn in the S bailey has recently been converted into a house. Many disused farm buildings, modern, occupy the E half of the N bailey.
1991: Said to be falling and at risk (S12).
1996: Re-creation of moat towards NW of castle. Initial evaluation concluded that no damage would occur to the medieval deposits if the new ditch does not exceed 1m in depth. Subsequently, new ditch excavated in April 1996. Observation of water pipe trenches and removal of the footing of the garden wall bordering the road also took place at the same time of which results were inconclusive (S15).
1998: Rapid structural survey of south curtain wall & desilting of adjacent moat ditch (S13).
1998: Evaluation by test pitting of area just outside (?) scheduled area indicated that spoil from the moat had been used to raise the level of the internal area, though no evidence of a buried soil was recorded. Details in (S14).July 2000: TM 3595 8864 - Monitoring of swimming pool construction within moated area (following negative evaluation (S4)), located only C13-C15 brick and LMed/early PMed tile (S16)(S17).

2010: Geophysical resistance survey identified probable foundations within the Inner Court/Keep which are likely to relate to an earlier south-eastern tower and additional rooms along the inside of the Keep walls. However, magnetic survey failed to detect an obvious fireplace. In the North Bailey, the existence of a storehouse has been confirmed, along with indications of an inner wall to the moat. Other resistance responses may indicate further buildings or floor/yard surface. The results from the South Bailey identified a former trackway/boundary and a peculiar curving anomaly which probably relates to a garden feature. Neither the resistance nor magnetic survey detected evidence for a fishpond in this area (S18)

Features visible on Lidar. See associated files.


[S1](No record type): Manning, C.R.. Manning C R, PSIA, 4, 1865, (2), 77-89 (ill). (SSF10714)
[R1](No record type): Suckling, History of Suffolk, 1, 168-178. (SSF21722)
[M1]Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: (S2); copy of (S9) and reduced copy of (S10). (SSF50072)
[S2](No record type): SCC, Archaeological condition for a watching brief W7589/2, undated. (SSF21105)
[M2](No record type): SAM file:. (SSF46981)
[R2](No record type): Dickinson P G M, Little guide to Suffolk, sixth edition, 1957, 253-254. (SSF5121)
[R3](No record type): Knowles, D. & Hadcock, R.N.. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (2nd ed). Knowles D and Hadcock R N, Med religious house of Eng & Wales, 1971, 416, 432. (SSF10390)
[M3](No record type): APs: ABG 1-2, 1 August 1975; NAU TM 3688/B/ADX 55. (SSF46982)
[S3]Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TM38NE2, 1978. (SSF50032)
[R4]Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 11, 1903, (3), 317. (SSF50042)
[S4]Unpublished document: Department of the Environment. Scheduling information. (SSF5242)
[R5](No record type): Knowles, D. & Hadcock, R.N.. 1953. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (1st ed). Knowles D and Hadcock R N, Med religious houses, 1953, 336. (SSF10392)
[S5](No record type): SAU (Carr R D), file note, 19 April. (SSF17956)
[S6]Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 3, 1863, (3), 414. (SSF50042)
[S7](No record type): SAU, APs ABG 1-2, 1 August 1975. (SSF18663)
[S8](No record type): NAU, AP TM 3688/B/ADX 55, 31/7/1975. (SSF11716)
[S9]Article in serial: Martin, E.. 1990. Mettingham Castle: an interpretation of a survey of 1562, PSIAH, Vol. 37 Part 2. PSIAH, 1990, Vol. 37, Part 2, pp. 115-123 (ill). Martin E, `Mettingham Castle: an interpretation of a survey of 1562', PSIA 37, 1990, 115-123 (ill). (SSF10906)
[S10]Graphic material: Buck S & N. 1738. Engraving. Buck S & N, North View of Mettingham Castle (engraving), 1738. (SSF50043)
[S11]Source Checked: Suffolk Record Office. Engravings 1813 & C19, SRO (B), 988/1/31 & 988/1/41. (SSF50044)
[S12]Unpublished document: Suffolk Preservation Society. 1991. Suffolk Preservation Society Survey. Suff Pres Soc Survey, 1991. (SSF21763)
[S13]Unpublished document: Monument Report. SAU (R D Carr), Monument Report, SCCAS 98/74. (SSF50046)
[S14]Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Various. SAU, Abbot C, SCCAS Report 98/33, 1998. (SSF50036)
[S15]Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Site Report. Carr, R., SCCAS. 96/40, 1996. (SSF50006)
[S16]Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service evaluation report. SAU, Abbott C, SCCAS Report 98/33, 1998. (SSF50056)
[S17]Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Various. SAU, Sommers M, SCCAS Report 2000/59, July 2000. (SSF50036)
[S18]Unpublished document: Gater, J.. 2010. Geophysical Survey Report, Mettingham Castle, Suffolk. (SSF58462)

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