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Suffolk HER Number (Pref. Ref.):PRH 001
Unique number (MonUID):MSF1318
Type of Record:Monument
NGR:TM 3123 5990


Moat, rectangular, wet, one side (E) very wide, occupied, isolated (S3).

Monument Types

  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • Gateway (16th century to 17th century - 1501 AD to 1600 AD)
  • HOUSE (16th century to 17th century - 1501 AD to 1600 AD)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Protected Status



Moat, rectangular, wet, one side (E) very wide, occupied, isolated (S3). "A moated early C16 timber-framed house with substantial brick parts.Gateway with four-centred arch and two niches with wild men" (S1).
A meeting of the SIA in October 1859 visited the Old Hall at Parham (Moat Hall) and noted a C15 portion "washed by a wide and spacious moat", and the Tudor entrance gateway "elegant and well preserved" (S2).
1990: Main approach is from the E, past farm buildings which contain fragments of dressed stone. Causeway across very broad E side of moat leads to a large brick arch with a lozenge-shaped diaper pattern and stone dressings. In niches on either side of the arch are some figures of wildmen (Willoughby supporters). Immediately to the S of the gateway there is a patch of stone revetting (?crag) to the island - ? part of an earlier gateway. To the N of the arch is a good stretch of brick revetting and patches of brick revetting to the island can be glimpsed on all sides. A small area of stone revettting also occurs beneath the brick building on the N side. The moated island is laterally divided into two halves by a brick wall (English bond). The S half is used as a vegetable garden and orchard, the N side is occupied by the house, various outbuildings and a lawn. An elaborate stone gateway with carved shields etc was originally sited on the lawn in front of the house (S side carved stone, N side red brick). `Gate' now forms entrance to to the Wharton-Sinkler Conference Centre at Philadelphia (S13). This was sold and shipped to the USA in 1926 (S4). Gate illustrated in (S5, S6, S7 & S8). The heraldry seems to indicate a connection with Robert, 6th Lord Willoughby de Eresby (d.1452 & buried at Mettingham). Has been suggested that this was in fact the tomb that William 10th Lord Willoughby directed to be made for the 6th Lord in his will, dated 1524 (S9, S10). Presumably the tomb was never erected at Mettingham because of the Reformation. Shields with similar carving can be seen in Parham Church and another one, with the arms of Willoughby impaling Zouche (2nd wife of the 4th Lord, who died 1391) was recently found in reconstructing a wall flanking the main entrance arch. Built into the walls of the outbuildings are many fragments of dressed limestone, including one piece bearing the Willoughby motto. These may have come from an elaborate gatehouse. Also built into the walls are several curious dished bricks (11 x 14ins) - these may be the interior surfaces of cast ornaments. The house occupies the NW corner. A timber framed W range adjoins an Early Tudor brick N range. On the S side there is a stair turret with 2 arched windows and a timber framed top. The N side has two canted bays rising sheer from the moat with several arched windows (some with cinquefoil heads) in rectangular frames. The bays and a large projecting chimney stack all have lozenge shaped diaper pattern on them. The top of the chimney has panels with trefoil heads. The N side has a jettied bay with evidence of two large oriel windows, close studded with brick nogging. A recessed bay to the S had two large brick windows. There is evidence that something has been demolished on the E side of the N range. There is also a brick projection rising from the moat some 8-10m E of the present building. At the NE corner there is a 5-sided brick structure projecting out into the moat, presumably some ornamental feature. Attached to the W side of the moat is a rectangular enclosure with a dry ditch, presumably a garden enclosure.
Possible old field boundaries in field immediately N - see PRH 006. Parham belonged to the de Valoines family of Orford etc in the C13. Acquired by Robert 1st Lord Ufford (d.1316) through marriage with the Valoines heiress. On the death of the Countess of Suffolk in 1416 (widow of the 2nd Earl, who died 1382) Parham passed to the Earl's great great nephew, Robert 6th Lord Willoughby de Eresby. Property held by various branches of the Willoughby family until the mid C17. The most likely builder of the brick house is William 10th Lord Willoughby de Eresby, who succeeded his father at Parham in 1498 and succeeded to the Lincolnshire estates and title of the family on his cousin's death in 1505. He died at Parham in 1526 (S11). 1994: Scheduled (S14).

Features visible on Lidar. See associated files.


[S1](No record type): Listed Building notes. (SSF10568)
[S1](No record type): Martin, E.A.. Martin E, 1990. (SSF10913)
[S1]Bibliographic reference: Pevsner N & Radcliffe E. 1974. The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Pevsner N, The buildings of England Suffolk, London 1975, second edition, 391. (SSF16083)
[R1](No record type): Country Life, 15th May 1909, 702-707. (SSF4174)
[M1](No record type): SAM file:. (SSF46993)
[M1]Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: annotated plan 1990; detailed description of site & buildings. (SSF50072)
[S1](No record type): English Heritage, scheduling information. (SSF5740)
[S1](No record type): Gray J W, Moat Hall, 1991. (SSF7053)
[S1](No record type): HRL, Gateway formerly at Parham, E Anglian Miscellany no 8, 381, 1931. (SSF7648)
[M2](No record type): by E Martin, 1992.. (SSF44161)
[S2]Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 3, 1863, (3), 407. (SSF50042)
[S3]Source Unchecked: SAU (West S E),. Undated. Unknown Source. SAU (West S E), undated. (SSF18208)
[M3](No record type): AP: OS 72 057/236, 237. (SSF44162)
[S4](No record type): Dickinson P G M, Little Guide - Suffolk, 1957, 277. (SSF5113)
[S5](No record type): Cromwell T,Excursions through Suffolk, vol II, 1819, pl opp page 90. (SSF4223)
[S6]Bibliographic reference: Barker H R. 1911. East Suffolk Illustrated. 377. (SSF50188)
[S7](No record type): Oliver B, Old Houses & Village Buildings in E Anglia, 1912, pl 54. (SSF12341)
[S8](No record type): Sandon E, Suffolk Houses, 1977, 281-283. (SSF17906)
[S9](No record type): Goff Lady G, A Woman of the Tudor Age, 1930, 14n. (SSF6905)

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