Bungay Town Defence

Has been described as a Certain Urban Defence

There are no visible remains

NameBungay Town Defence
Alternative Names
Historic CountrySuffolk
Modern AuthoritySuffolk
1974 AuthoritySuffolk
Civil ParishBungay

Scarped and banked defence of probable Saxon foundation.

A deep ditch extended E and W to two bends in the river Waveney, cutting off Outney Common from the town of Bungay and materially strengthening the northern defences of the castle. It has been suggested that the ditch might be a Roman work, but there is no positive evidence of this, and it may have been dug by the Bigots, who used the materials obtained to raise the huge barriers of earth around their castle Bungay was granted to Roger Bigot soon after Domesday by the Conqueror.(Suckling; Field Investigators Comments–F1 FDC 01-APR-68) An anonymous and undated map in Bungay Museum (approx. 1/2500) - reproduced in Bungay Castle Guide shows this earthwork as "Tower Ditch" and traces it south-east and south-west to encircle the probable Medieval town (line superimposed on 6" field sheet). The topographical situation would support this classification (i.e. for the whole of the distance it is shown as running along the high crop above a flood plain) rather than the suggestion of Suckling. Modern development has now removed all evidence of the work.(Wade, 1984) A trial trench revealed the town ditch which measures 8m wide and 4m deep, and was backfilled in the late C13 or C14. (Martin et al, 1984). (PastScape)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTM331897
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Calculate Print


  • Salter, Mike, 2013, Medieval Walled Towns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 157 (mention)
  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 264
  • Wade, Keith, and Dymond, David, 1999 (3edn), 'Smaller Medieval Towns' in Dymond, David and Martin, Edward (eds) An Historical Atlas of Suffolk (Lavenham) p. 162-3
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 461
  • Scarfe, N., 1972, The Suffolk Landscape p. 109
  • Suckling, A., 1846, History and Antiquities of Suffolk (London) Vol. 1 p. 131 online transcription


  • Keiron Heard, 2011, 'Archaeology in Suffolk 2010' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 42.3 p. 363 online copy
  • Linzi Everett, 2009, 'Archaeology in Suffolk 2008' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 42.1 p. 69 (slight) online copy
  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Château Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86
  • 2000, 'Archaeology in Suffolk 1999' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 39.4 p. 514-15 online copy
  • Penn, K., 1998, 'Bungay and its Early History' Quarterly Journal of the Norfolk Archaeology and Historical Research Group Vol. 29 p. 3-7
  • Wade, K.R. in Youngs, S.M., Clark, J. and Barry, T.B., 1984, 'Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1983' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 28 p. 241 download copy
  • Martin, E., Plouviez, J. and Ross, H., 1984, 'Archaeology in Suffolk 1983' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History 35.4 p. 327 online copy
  • Braun, H, 1935, 'Bungay Castle, report on the excavations' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 22.2 p. 201-23 online copy

Guide Books

  • Braun, Hugh, 1991, Bungay Castle Historical Notes and Account of the Excavations (Bungay Castle Trust) (Mainly a reprint of Braun's 1934 and 1935 articles)