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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 339689

Hob Uid: 339689
Location :
Northamptonshire
Daventry
Canons Ashby
Grid Ref : SP5749050910
Summary : Medieval motte and bailey situated in the grounds of Canons Ashby House which lies approximately 350 metres to the north west. The castle comprises an hexagonal mound, 50 metres in diameter and up to 3 metres high, which is known as Castle Hill. The top of the mound is surrounded by a shallow ditch about 15 metres wide. The mound stands within a roughly rectangular area bounded on the south, west and north by a broad depression up to 20 metres wide; on the east side of the road this boundary continues as a narrow ditch with an external bank. The castle was abandoned in the medieval period when part of the bailey was overlain by the expanding settlement of Canons Ashby. During the late 18th century part of the bailey and the motte were used as a garden feature to Canons Ashby House. The earthwork was surveyed in 1992 by RCHME field staff.
More information : The mound at SP 57505091 seems undoubtedly to be a motte, no doubt a precursor of the early Hall. (1)

SP 57505091. Mound recorded as a barrow or motte. Polygonal form and location in line with NW elevation of Canons Ashby house suggest its more recent use as a garden feature. It may be that there was an earlier mound on this site that has been landscaped. Pevsner notes that OS 1st edition describes the mound as a barrow and erroneously adds that a BA spearhead, collected in the area, was found in the barrow. See RCHME plan. (2)

This site was formerly recorded under SP 55 SE/1. (3)

In December 1992, RCHME's Cambridge office carried out an analytical earthwork survey of the mound following a request from the National Trust. (4)

A large, tree-covered mound approximately 50m in diameter and up to 3m high stands within the parkland of Canons Ashby House (SP 55 SE 18). The summit is uneven, pitted with tree holes but generally flat topped with a prominent raised area on the north east part of the summit. A shallow ditch circles the base.

The size of the mound is equivalent to that of the motte of an
earthwork castle. The outworks of a bailey survive in the form of
broad hollows on the north, south and south-east sides. The south-east ditch has been converted partially into a pond, although it still preserves the angle of the putative defences. The area of the bailey was later colonised by the crofts and fields of the medieval village and the defences were slighted by a rectangular enclosure of probable later medieval date. (see SP 55 SE 1)

The motte was probably adapted as a post-medieval garden feature (2) occupying a prominent position, but off-centre, at the end of a former tree-lined avenue leading from the north-western front of Canons Ashby House. For further details, see RCHME Level 3 client report and plan at 1:2500 scale, held in archive. (4)

Scheduled listing. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : First Ordnance Survey Archaeology Field Investigator 07/05/1970
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Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in the County of Northampton. Volume III: archaeological sites in north-west Northamptonshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 36
Figs. : 34
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Source Number : 2a
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : Ordnance Survey 1" 1834
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Source Number : 2b
Source : Northamptonshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 135
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Source Number : 2c
Source : The history and antiquities of Northamptonshire
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Page(s) : 223
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Source Number : 2d
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : CUAP, BEN 25
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Source Number : 3
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Lee ES 22-JUL-91 RCHME Recording
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Source Number : 4
Source : Canon's Ashby
Source details : RCHME: Canon's Ashby Survey
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Source Number : 5
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : English Heritage Schedule Entry 21/02/1997
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Source : RCHME: Canons Ashby Deserted Medieval Village, Northamptonshire
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Medieval
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Late C18
Monument End Date : 1799
Monument Start Date : 1767
Monument Type : Garden Feature
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13643
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 55 SE 14
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 55 SE 13
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1970-05-07
End Date : 1970-05-07
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: CANONS ASHBY SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1992-12-01
End Date : 1992-12-15