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Brimpsfield Castle Mound is a scheduled site located to the south of The Rookery, Brimpsfield.
County: Gloucestershire
District: COTSWOLD
NGR: SO 94 12
Monument Number: 152
Scheduled Monument Description:-
Summary of Monument
Motte castle 295m north of Brimpsfield Park.
Reasons for Designation
Motte castles are medieval fortifications introduced into Britain by the Normans. They comprised a large conical mound of earth or rubble, the motte, surmounted by a palisade and a stone or timber tower. In a majority of examples an embanked enclosure containing additional buildings, the bailey, adjoined the motte. Motte castles and motte-and-bai1ey castles acted as garrison forts during offensive military operations, as strongholds, and, in many cases, as aristocratic residences and as centres of local or royal administration. Built in towns, villages and open countryside, motte castles generally occupied strategic positions dominating their immediate locality and, as a result, are the most visually impressive monuments of the early post-Conquest period surviving in the modern landscape. Over 600 motte castles and motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. Some 100-150 examples do not have baileys and are classified as motte castles. As one of a restricted range of recognised early post-Conquest monuments, they are particularly important for the study of Norman Britain and the development of the feudal system. Although many were occupied for only a short period of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.
The motte castle 295m north of Brimpsfield Park survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, social, political and strategic significance, social organisation, domestic arrangements, abandonment, relationship and relative chronology with the neighbouring ‘castle’ and overall landscape context.
See Details.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 July 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes a motte castle situated on a sloping spur on the western upper valley side of a tributary to the River Frome. The motte survives as a flat topped oval mound measuring up to 35m long, 20m wide and 2.5m high surrounded by a ditch of up to 2.5m wide and 1.5m deep. There is a causeway across the ditch to the south east and a slight stony perimeter bank around the summit of the motte indicating a possible tower. It is believed to be the precursor to Brimpsfield Castle situated to the west and the subject of a separate scheduling {Source Work 2873.}
Brimpsfield Castle Mound measures about 40m by 26m. Height of mound is about the same as those of the Bagpath Castle Mound (4ft-1.2m) above ground level & 1.5m deep, respectively), There are irregularities suggesting former works signs of masonry on the north side. The mound was probably built as a defence during the Conquest, pending construction of Brimpsfield Castle. The castle was probably a "Motte & Fosse" with a wooden tower. The steep bank above the brook serves as a natural defence on one side; on the other it is piled up artifically & defended by a fairly deep ditch or dry moat. The mound averages 2.5m high with a surrounding ditch 1m to 1.5 m deep. There may have been a masonry structure on top of the footings now concealed but there has been random digging giving a generally uneven surface. {Source Work 862.}.
AP cover of motte included Source Works 3284, 3149 and 3268. The site is tree covered on these photographs. The interior of motte is tree lined - the ditch is visible on the western side. Small, but deep circular depression just to south of motte (pers. comm. S Brown.
The site of the predecessor of the 13th century castle (HER 153) was built of wood. {Source Works 902,290.}
A substantial dry ditch surrounds the motte mound, which has numerous disturbances over its basically flat surface. In good condition on pasture. Tree and grass covered. {Source Work 470.}
Norman castle motte. The site may have been abandoned in favour of a site near Brimpsfield church. {Source Work 1859.}
2004 - This area was mapped at 1:10,000 scale as part of the English Heritage: Gloucestershire NMP project.
The castle motte is visible on aerial photographs. Immediately to the south of the motte, the earthwork remains of a possible Post Medieval pond are visible at SO 9461 1271. This is circular and measures 8 metres across. {Source Works 4249, 7549 and 6880.}
No plough damage. {Source Work 470.}


Protection Status

Sources and further reading
2858;Butler RF;1957-1961;PROCEEDINGS OF THE COTTESWOLD NATURALIST'S FIELD CLUB;Vol:33;Page(s):113-122;
3636;Jackson MJ;1980;Vol:1;
148;Lindley ES;1962;Wotton-under-Edge: men and affairs of a Cotswold wool town;Vol:0;
290;Verey D;1970;Gloucestershire: The Cotswolds;Vol:1;
362;Ordnance Survey;1946-1975;OS 1st series National Survey: 6 inch map;Vol:0;
363;Ordnance Survey;1929-1945;OGS Crawford's set of rectified 6 inch maps;Vol:0;
305;Saville A;1980;Archaeological Sites in the Avon and Gloucestershire Cotswolds;Vol:0;
470;Saville A;1976;Vol:0;
488;Armstrong L;1987;Vol:0;
862;Ordnance Survey;unknown;Vol:0;
1859;Rawes B;1977;GLEVENSIS;Vol:11;Page(s):39-41;
2873;English Heritage;various;Vol:0;
6506;Catchpole T;2001;
4249;Historic England;Various;Vol:0;
7549;English Heritage;2003-4;The Forest of Dean and Cotswolds National Mapping Programme Project maps;
6880;RAF (1946);1946;
484;Historic Environment Record;various;Vol:0;
14358;Stoertz C;2012;

Related records
HER   153     Brimpsfield Castle is a scheduled 13th century castle site to the northeast of Brimpsfield village, Brimpsfield.
HER   4693     Earthworks north of Brimpsfield Castle.

Gloucestershire County Council: Historic Environment Record Archive