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Great Cornard

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Abbas Hall Wood

In the civil parish of Great Cornard.
In the historic county of Suffolk.
Modern Authority of Suffolk.
1974 county of Suffolk.
Medieval County of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL900404
Latitude 52.02925° Longitude 0.76871°

Great Cornard has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.


Martin records a possible ringwork at Great Cornard, writing "a small embanked ring on the edge of Abbas Hall Wood may have been an attempt to fortify the manor in the time of Stephen."

Circular earthwork in Abbas Hall Wood, adjacent to the wood bank on the west side of the road. Overall diameter is 42.5c, ditch 6m to 6.5m wide (outer edge to crest of bank on inside) and upto about half a metre deep; inner bank is about a half a metre high and about 2m wide. Interior flat and tree covered. High position on a spur (Suffolk HER ref Martin site visit).

Certainly could be an earlier site of Abbas Hall, which presumably moved a little down hill to be on the spring line. However, the dating of this to the time of Stephen is doubtful, and Gatehouse would not be surprised if this was actually of pre-Conquest date, although possible with post-Conquest strengthening. Whether this ringwork was of sufficient strength to be called a castle is a matter of debate and opinion. Copinger's tenurial history does not given any suggestion for a date but does show this manor, held in chief by the Abbot of Bury, was tenanted by a knightly family by the end of the C12.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:30

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