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Suffolk HER Number (Pref. Ref.):GRT 001
Unique number (MonUID):MSF5796
Type of Record:Monument
Parish:GROTON, BABERGH, SUFFOLK
NGR:TL 96 42

Summary

1911: Pytches Mount, in Groton Park.

Monument Types

  • CASTLE (12th century to 13th century - 1101 AD to 1200 AD)
  • MOTTE (12th century to 13th century - 1101 AD to 1200 AD)
  • LANDSCAPE FEATURE (19th century to 20th century - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • MANUSCRIPT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Ancient Monument SF163: PITCHES MOUNT

Description

1911: Pytches Mount, in Groton Park. Nearly 200ft in diameter at the base, rises 20ft in height, but is mutilated by an excavation through the top. Formerly surrounded by a fosse, greater part of which has either been filled in or destroyed by digging for gravel, it is most in evidence on the north, where the counterscarp is 4ft 9in (S1).
1970: Pitches Mount. Fine example of a ring motte in good state of preservation with a fair covering of bushes. Banked on much of the rim, the "excavation" mentioned in (S1) is a depressed central refuge banked without and entered from the NE by a sunken way. No outer ditch remains (S2). 1974: Impressive motte or castle mound on high ground in Groton Park. Mound over 20ft high. No apparent ditch. Uneven top with old excavation trench on the E side. Under trees and bushes (S3).
1981: Mound tree-covered, some dead. Considerable scrub and bramble cover. Some animal burrowing. Old excavation trench still visible on E side (S4). 1986: Mound densely overgrown, mainly sycamore and elder, a few mature oaks on the outer slope of the mound. Undergrowth and nettles. Bank around top well-preserved. Central hollows are massive and regular and seem more likely to be part of the earthwork than the scars of old excavation. Possible traces of silted ditch (S5).
1992: Horse jumps established in the area of the ditch, which is discernible most of the way round and shows well on the north (S6).
In 1838 the earthwork lay (unmarked) in an area of wood called `The Mount' belonging to Rev George Augustus Dawson of Groton House (S7). A 1798 map of the estate of the Rev Henry Dawson, called Groton Great House and Stours Farm, shows that the Mount was not then part of the property, but lay on the adjoining land of Sir William Rowley (S8). Rowley of Tendring Hall, Stoke- by-Nayland is said to have acquired the manor of Groton in 1804 (S9).
Manor of Groton belonged to the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds by 1086. In the late C12 Jocelin of Brakelond recorded that in the time of King Stephen the vills of Groton and Semer were granted for life to Adam de Cockfield because he could defend the vills against the holders of neighbouring castles (W de Milden and W de Ambli), as he had his own castle at Lindsey (see LSY 001)(S10). The Cockfields continued to hold Groton for lives down to circa 1198. In 1200 Groton was held under the Abbot of Bury by Gilbert Peccatum (Peche or Pecche). D F Renn (S11) suggested that Pytches Mount may have been William of Ambli's castle, but this was almost certainly at Offton (see OFF 002). The name Pitches or Pytches Mount may be derived from the Pecche family. Two fields called `Pitches Field' are recorded in 1798 (S8) and a `Pitcher's Meadow' in 1838 (S7); these are 600m and 1km from Pitches Mount. However, Groton House was owned or occupied by John Pytches Esq from circa 1804/5. He died in 1829 and Groton House was purchased by the Rev G A Dawson in 1830 (S12). His occupation probably coincides with the bringing of the Mount into Groton Park. The `ramp' on the north side of the mound and possibly the earthworks on the summit may be early C19 adaptations of the mound as a garden feature and he may have bestowed his name on the resulting creation.Scheduled Monument

Sources

S1(No record type): Clarke, Sir E (ed), Jocelin of Brakelond's Chronicle, 138 (SSF3715)
S1(No record type): Martin J, Notes on John Pytches, 1992 - see parish file (SSF10965)
S1(No record type): Renn D F, Norman Castles, 1968, rev 1973, 223 (SSF17581)
S1Bibliographic reference: 1911. VCH Suffolk 1. Wall J C, 591 (SSF54455)
M1(No record type): SAM file: (S3)(S4)(S5) (SSF46962)
S2Unpublished document: OS. OS Card. OS card, TL94SE17, by BHS 15 January 1970 (SSF50032)
M2Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: notes on (S7)(S8), also (S12); letters (SSF50072)
S3(No record type): Visit by D Sherlock, see SAM file (SSF22676)
S4(No record type): Visit by H Patterson, see SAM file (SSF22678)
S5(No record type): Visit by F Healy, see SAM file (SSF22677)
S6(No record type): Visit by R D Carr, see parish file (SSF22679)
S7(No record type): Groton Tithe Map & Apportionment, 1838, SRO (Bury), T85/1,2 (SSF7200)
S8(No record type): Estate Map, 1798, SRO (Bury), 573/3 (SSF6030)
S9Bibliographic reference: Copinger W A. Manors of Suffolk. Copinger W, Manors of Suffolk, Vol 1 (SSF50037)

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