Game of Thrones stars Kit Harington and Rose Leslie have won a battle to build a new moat wall at their home, despite Historic England saying it could lead to the loss of ancient remains and artefacts.
The celebrity couple feared a garden would slide into the moat at their farmhouse in Suffolk after part of the existing 6ft wall collapsed. They said the collapse was putting structural pressure on a small footbridge across the moat and other parts of the wall were suffering “significant lean”.
The actors, both 34, asked for permission to carry out urgent repairs, including building a new wall with a concrete core “to ensure the long-term stability and safeguard against future problems”.
However, conservation body Historic England raised concerns that the work could lead to the loss of ancient remains and artefacts. The heritage organisation cited a 2019 study that said the 15th-century house and its grounds had “a high potential for medieval and post-medieval archaeology”.
But Babergh District Council has given the go-ahead for the repair work after their local archaeological team said there would be “no significant impact on known archaeological sites or areas with archaeological potential”.
Planning officials said: “The site is located in a large plot with no immediate neighbouring properties. The replacement wall is to go round an existing moat that has fallen into disrepair.
“It is noted the concern raised by Historic England, however following a response from Suffolk County Council’s archaeological team detailing that no further archaeological works are required then it is considered that it would be unreasonable to request further information.
“The proposed development is not considered to result in any significant adverse impact on highways safety, residential amenity, heritage assets, the environment or biodiversity interests to warrant refusal.”
Harington and Leslie met in 2012 on the set of the hit HBO series, in which they played on-screen couple Jon Snow and Ygritte. They married in 2018 and Leslie, from Aberdeenshire, gave birth to their first child, a son, earlier this year.
Last month, they were given permission to build new gates at their home to stop people peering in. The couple said their privacy and security has been “continuously breached” since moving into the farmhouse in 2017.