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Historic England Research Records

Halls Close

Hob Uid: 216753
Location :
Wiltshire
Ashton Keynes
Grid Ref : SU0489094500
Summary : Earthworks of a Medieval ringwork and bailey. During excavations in 1959 a large quantity of pottery dating to the 12th - 13th centuries was found. There is some debate as to whether this is the site of a castle captured by Stephen in 1139 (Renn 1968), or whether the latter was sited at South Cerney. The earthworks were mapped as part of the RCHME's Thames Valley National Mapping Programme project. Scheduled.
More information : (SU 04889448) Earthwork (NR). (1)

A ring-work about 160 ft by 180 ft and a bailey, in a field known as Hall's Close (2), 'Hell's Claws (3)', or 'The Battlefield' (4) in which there are a number of banks and ditches (2).

Excavations by G M Knocker for the Cricklade Historical Society in 1959 revealed that the ditch surrounding the ringwork was lined with puddled clay, and revetted with brushwood, and the bank contained a drystone wall.

The large quantity of pottery found has been dated by Jope as early 12th - 13th C (2) which would support the dating of St J O'Neil's theory that it was the site of a fortified manor of Stephen's time, and may have been the head of the de Keynes household (4). Renn however considers it may have been the site of a 'castle' captured by Stephen in 1139 and described as being at South Cerney (see SU 09 NW 11) (5). (2-6)

The ringwork, centred SU 04899450, is sub-square and consists of a slightly raised banked area containing many small scarps, presumably the sites of buildings, surrounded by a strong defensive ditch. The adjoining internally banked bailey to the West and south forms, with the ringwork, a ditched rectangle measuring about 140 by 85 metres. Two slight hollows leading off the ditch to the south appear to be connected with the earthwork, though their purpose is obscure, as is that of a deep depression adjacent to the junction of the more westerly hollow with the main ditch.
There seems little to support Renn's contention that this is the site of the castle captured by Stephen as that at South Cerney would seem better to fit the description. (See SU 09 NW 11). (7)

The medieval ringwork and bailey described by the previous authorities were seen as earthworks and mapped from good quality air photographs as part of the RCHME: Thames Valley NMP Project. No additional data was added by this survey.
(Morph No. TG.85.23.1-2). (8)

The form of the earthworks and results of excavation is consistent with a short-term fortification subsequently adapted as a manorial residence of the de Keynes family. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1960
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval archaeology : journal of the Society for Medieval Archaeology
Source details : Hurst J G
Page(s) : 156
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 4, 1960
Source Number : 3
Source : A history of Wiltshire: volume 1, part 1
Source details :
Page(s) : 262
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details : Knocker, G M and Sabben Clave, E E
Page(s) : 241-2
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 57, 1959
Source Number : 5
Source : Norman Castles in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 96, 314
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ANK 22-DEC-69
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Source Number : 8
Source : RCHME/EH/HE Aerial Photographers comment
Source details : Simon Crutchley/03-MAR-1993/RCHME: Thames Valley NMP
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 9
Source : The Wiltshire archaeological and natural history magazine
Source details :
Page(s) : 111
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 93, 2000
Source Number :
Source : SU 09 SW 8 (1969)
Source details :
Page(s) :
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C12-C13
Monument End Date : 1299
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Moat, Ringwork And Bailey, Castle
Evidence : Earthwork, Conjectural Evidence

Components and Objects:
Period : Medieval
Component Monument Type : Moat, Ringwork And Bailey, Castle
Object Type : VESSEL
Object Material : Pottery

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WI 314
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 12292
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 454
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : MORPH2
External Cross Reference Number : TG.85.23
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Wiltshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 400
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 09 SW 8
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 216679
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, SOUTH OF CLAYHILL COPSE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1959-01-01
End Date : 1959-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SU 09 SW 8
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1969-12-22
End Date : 1969-12-22