Monument record MTT 003 - Mettingham Castle/Mettingham College (Med)
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|Grid reference||Centred TM 360 886 (143m by 199m) Centred on|
|Civil Parish||METTINGHAM, WAVENEY, SUFFOLK|
Type and Period (9)
- CASTLE (14th century to 16th century - 1301 AD to 1500 AD)
- MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
- DITCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
- COLLEGE OF SECULAR PRIESTS (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
- DITCH? (Unknown date)
- PIT? (Unknown date)
- STRUCTURE? (Unknown date)
- LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
- STOREHOUSE? (Unknown date)
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)
2009-10: A drawn and photographic record was made and a geophysical survey carried out during conservation work to repair and stabilise the ruined keep at the centre of the 14th century Mettingham Castle. The removal of vegetation and the erection of scaffolding provided an opportunity to examine closely the castle’s fabric which had previously been concealed or invisible from the ground. The remains of the castle are a Scheduled Ancient Monument and the consent for the repair work was conditional upon a programme of archaeological recording being completed. The principal area for the conservation work was the keep and the southern fragment of the curtain wall which once enclosed a base court to the north. Geophysical survey was undertaken of the court enclosed by the keep, the moated garden to the south and the
area surrounding a fragment of an unidentified medieval building within the base court. The keep consists of a flint and brick-built curtain wall with a tower at each corner; this enclosed an inner court in which a two storey timber-framed manor house once stood. The manor house was built off-centre against the south and west sides of the court and probably covered an area of 17.5m x 13m. It included the SW and central towers within its footprint with the towers acting as stair turrets to gain access from the upper floor of the hall to the tower rooms and a walkway around the top of the curtain wall. Although
nothing of the timber-framed structure remained, points where it was fixed to the stonework were evident on the surfaces of the towers and curtain wall. Indications of a low ceiling height and smaller windows suggest that the ground floor of the manor house would have been reserved for the service rooms with the main hall and privateapartments in the loftier chambers above. The survey identified evidence of a previously unknown south gate which would have connected the keep to the gardens and orchards which were laid out on a separate moated enclosure to the south. Joist settings for a boarded wall-top walkway behind the parapet of the north wall of the keep were also discovered The geophysical survey identified a hitherto unknown lean-to range against the east curtain wall and confirmed the location of the return walls of some of the extant remains. Within the base court two large areas of disturbance were identified (Gater, 2010). The two anomalies were aligned either side of a standing fragment of a medieval building, inviting the possibility that they were part of a single entity 6.5m wide by over 25m long. Previous study of an inventory of 1563 suggests that it may be the site of the mysteriously named ‘Cynnehall’; a translation of which could be King’s hall or royal lodgings (S19).
Features visible on Lidar. See associated files.
- --- SSF60668 Unpublished document: Gill, S.. 2012. Archaeological Excavation & Survey Report: Survey of the Keep at Mettingham Castle.
- <S1> SSF10714 (No record type): Manning, C.R.. Manning C R, PSIA, 4, 1865, (2), 77-89 (ill).
- <R1> SSF21722 (No record type): Suckling, History of Suffolk, 1, 168-178.
- <M1> SSF50072 Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: (S2); copy of (S9) and reduced copy of (S10).
- <S2> SSF21105 (No record type): SCC, Archaeological condition for a watching brief W7589/2, undated.
- <M2> SSF46981 (No record type): SAM file:.
- <R2> SSF5121 (No record type): Dickinson P G M, Little guide to Suffolk, sixth edition, 1957, 253-254.
- <R3> SSF10390 (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.
- <M3> SSF46982 (No record type): APs: ABG 1-2, 1 August 1975; NAU TM 3688/B/ADX 55.
- <S3> SSF50032 Index: OS. OS Card. OS, card TM38NE2, 1978.
- <R4> SSF50042 Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 11, 1903, (3), 317.
- <S4> SSF5242 Unpublished document: Department of the Environment. Scheduling information.
- <R5> SSF10392 (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.
- <S5> SSF17956 (No record type): SAU (Carr R D), file note, 19 April.
- <S6> SSF50042 Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 3, 1863, (3), 414.
- <S7> SSF18663 (No record type): SAU, APs ABG 1-2, 1 August 1975.
- <S8> SSF11716 (No record type): NAU, AP TM 3688/B/ADX 55, 31/7/1975.
- <S9> SSF10906 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).
- <S10> SSF50043 Graphic material: Buck S & N. 1738. Engraving. Buck S & N, North View of Mettingham Castle (engraving), 1738.
- <S11> SSF50044 Source Checked: Suffolk Record Office. Engravings 1813 & C19, SRO (B), 988/1/31 & 988/1/41.
- <S12> SSF21763 Unpublished document: Suffolk Preservation Society. 1991. Suffolk Preservation Society Survey. Suff Pres Soc Survey, 1991.
- <S13> SSF50046 Unpublished document: Monument Report. SAU (R D Carr), Monument Report, SCCAS 98/74.
- <S14> SSF50036 Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Various. SAU, Abbot C, SCCAS Report 98/33, 1998.
- <S15> SSF50006 Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Site Report. Carr, R., SCCAS. 96/40, 1996.
- <S16> SSF50056 Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service evaluation report. SAU, Abbott C, SCCAS Report 98/33, 1998.
- <S17> SSF50036 Unpublished document: Suffolk County Council Archaeologcial Service. Various. SAU, Sommers M, SCCAS Report 2000/59, July 2000.
- <S18> SSF58462 Unpublished document: Gater, J.. 2010. Geophysical Survey Report, Mettingham Castle, Suffolk.
Related Monuments/Buildings (0)
Related Events/Activities (4)
- Event - Intervention: Eval. and exc. for moat re-creation (Ref: ) (ESF19075)
- Event - Intervention: Evaluation test pitting - Abbot C (Ref: ) (ESF18060)
- Event - Intervention: Excavation and Survey - Mettingham Castle, Mettingham (Ref: OASIS-suffolkc1-122106) (ESF29112)
- Event - Survey: Geophysical Survey - Mettingham Castle (ESF25515)
Record last edited
Oct 28 2022 5:04PM