HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Lincolnshire HER Result
Lincolnshire HERPrintable version | About Lincolnshire HER | Visit Lincolnshire HER online...

Name:Castle Bytham Castle and Surrounding Earthworks
HER Number:30059
Type of record:Monument

Summary

Castle Bytham Castle and surrounding earthworks.

Grid Reference:SK 991 185
Map Sheet:SK91NE
Parish:CASTLE BYTHAM, SOUTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE

Full description

At Castle Bytham was the once powerful castle of the Earls of Aumdale, probably built in the 11th century, besieged by Henry III in 1220-21, and burnt during the Wars of the Roses. The walls were still standing in Leland's time. {1}{3}{4}{5}{6}
The castle mound and bailey both show surface traces of stone buildings. Immediately east of the entrance to the castle mound is a detached mound, possibly the keep. To the south of the bailey is a fish stew and extending uphill to the southwest is a strong bank of uncertain purpose. The feature published as 'fish pool' is a large dry, perfectly level area, bounded by scarped slopes. The published 'moat' is a natural stream skirting the hillock on which the castle was constructed. {1}
A large motte and bailey castle. The motte was placed on a natural mound overlooking the neighbouring countryside; two baileys, an outer and an inner defend the mound to the south. The site is still very strong with deep ditches and the remains of stone towers. {9}
The massive earthworks of Castle Bytham were created by isolating a spur of the nearby hills with ditches and by using the rock and soil to build ramparts. This natural defensive position may have been used for a castle soon after the Norman Conquest. In origin it was a large motte topped by a tower or stockade, linked to a larger enclosure, in which lay hall, stables and kitchens, by a bridge. In 1221 William de Fortibus, Count of Aumdale, rebelled against Henry III and in February the King brought up heavy siege weapons and captured the castle in just under a fortnight. William de Colvill was then granted the castle, which was no doubt partially demolished, and over the next few years he rebuilt it on more modern lines. The old motte was abandoned and its outer enclosure now became the main defence. Surrounded by a stone wall and a deep moat it was approached from the south by way of two separate gatehouses. An outer line of defence strengthened by walls and perhaps towers enclosed a further area in which no doubt lay further buildings. The castle had two chapels, one in the main part of the castle and the other in the outer gatehouse. There is little mention of the castle after the 14th century. By 1535 it could only be said that there 'yet remayne great waulles of buildinge'. Excavations were carried out here in 1870 by Reverend J. Wilde. He located the innermost east gate of the castle and what may have been drawbridge supports. {2}
The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of the Motte and Bailey castle, its water control system and the defences of the associated settlement, which are protected within three separate areas (22714/01, 02, 03). There is a full description in the revised scheduling document (scheduled monument number 22714). {9}
A watching brief undertaken at 30059a, during sewer main repairs in 2008, revealed that the bank of the fishpond had survived to a height of 0.8m. {13}{14}


<1> OS CARD INDEX, SK 91 NE:2,1965, D.A. (Index). SLI2439.


<2> WHITE, A.J., 1983, A VISITORS GUIDE: SIX LINCOLNSHIRE CASTLES, LINCS. MUSEUMS GUIDE (Bibliographic reference). SLI3570.


<3> WILD, J., 1871, HISTORY OF CASTLE BYTHAM, p.77 (Bibliographic reference). SLI1072.


<4> HBMC, 1961, ANCIENT MONUMENTS IN ENGLAND AND WALES, 63 (Index). SLI2087.


<5> ST JOSEPH, J.K.S., 1945-1979, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION, OV 75,78,1954, (Aerial Photograph). SLI175.


<6> Pevsner, N. and Harris, J., with Antram, N., 1989, Buildings of England (Second Edition), pp.215-16 (Bibliographic reference). SLI1062.


<7> SMR FILE, SK 91 NE:D - (Index). SLI2957.


<8> ST JOSEPH, J.K.S., 1945-1979, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION, PH 43,45-46,48,1955, (Aerial Photograph). SLI175.


<9> ENGLISH HERITAGE, 1996, REVISED SCHEDULING DOCUMENT 22714, MPP 23 (Scheduling record). SLI4297.


<10> RENN, D.F., 1968, NORMAN CASTLES IN BRITAIN, p.126 (Bibliographic reference). SLI903.


<11> 1935, REGISTRUM ANTIQUISSIUM III, p.29 (Bibliographic reference). SLI913.


<12> ST JOSEPH, J.K.S., 1945-1979, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION, EU 32,1950, (Aerial Photograph). SLI175.


<13> Lindsey Archaeological Services, 2008, Archaeological Monitoring and Recording at The Fishponds, St Martin's, Castle Bytham, CBFS 08 (Intervention Report). SLI12293.


<14> Lindsey Archaeological Services, 2008, Archaeological Monitoring and Recording at The Fishponds, St Martin's, Castle Bytham, LCNCC: 2008.164 (Excavation archive). SLI12294.

Monument Types

  • CASTLE (Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1600 AD)
  • DRAIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOTTE AND BAILEY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events

  • Excavations at Castle Bytham

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument
  • Conservation Area

Sources and further reading

<1>Index: OS CARD INDEX. CASTLE BYTHAM. SK 91 NE:2,1965, D.A..
<2>Bibliographic reference: WHITE, A.J.. 1983. A VISITORS GUIDE: SIX LINCOLNSHIRE CASTLES. LINCS. MUSEUMS GUIDE.
<3>Bibliographic reference: WILD, J.. 1871. HISTORY OF CASTLE BYTHAM. p.77.
<4>Index: HBMC. 1961. ANCIENT MONUMENTS IN ENGLAND AND WALES. 63.
<5>Aerial Photograph: ST JOSEPH, J.K.S.. 1945-1979. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. OV 75,78,1954, .
<6>Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. and Harris, J., with Antram, N.. 1989. Buildings of England (Second Edition). Lincolnshire. pp.215-16.
<7>Index: SMR FILE. CASTLE BYTHAM. SK 91 NE:D -.
<8>Aerial Photograph: ST JOSEPH, J.K.S.. 1945-1979. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. PH 43,45-46,48,1955, .
<9>Scheduling record: ENGLISH HERITAGE. 1996. REVISED SCHEDULING DOCUMENT 22714. MPP 23.
<10>Bibliographic reference: RENN, D.F.. 1968. NORMAN CASTLES IN BRITAIN. p.126.
<11>Bibliographic reference: 1935. REGISTRUM ANTIQUISSIUM III. p.29.
<12>Aerial Photograph: ST JOSEPH, J.K.S.. 1945-1979. CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION. EU 32,1950, .
<13>Intervention Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 2008. Archaeological Monitoring and Recording at The Fishponds, St Martin's, Castle Bytham. CBFS 08.
<14>Excavation archive: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 2008. Archaeological Monitoring and Recording at The Fishponds, St Martin's, Castle Bytham. LCNCC: 2008.164.