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Historic England Research Records

Bury Mount

Hob Uid: 341280
Location :
Northamptonshire
South Northamptonshire
Towcester
Grid Ref : SP6934048810
Summary : Mound, probably constructed as a Motte in the late 11th or 12th century. Altered to become a gun platform in 1643. Described as a garden in 1848. The mound is 22 feet in height and 102 feet in diameter, and was originally surrounded by a wet ditch. Scheduled.
More information : (SP 69344881) Bury Mount (LB) (1)

"It is recorded that Edward the Elder ordered the defences of Towcester to be strengthened in 918, when the town was threatened by the Danes. Bury Mount, a mound formed of earth and gravel, is 22' in height, 102' in diameter, originally surrounded by a wet ditch. It overlooks the River Tove, and the E side of the town, controlling the old road to Northampton which crossed the river by a ford close at hand. It is a typical example of a post-conquest Motte or mound, the earlier fortifications (the whole perimeter defences of Towcester?) forming the bailey or outer enclosure. The summit has unfortunately been flattened by landscape gardening, and it is not possible to state whether it was surmounted by stone or timber defences." (2)

See annotated 25" survey. (3)

A well preserved tree covered castle mound. There are no remains of either a surrounding ditch or bailey but the feature is adjacent to water and an additional moated defence was probably not considered necessary.

Motte (SP 69344881) known as Bury Mount. Nothing is known of its history but it was apparently constructed in the late 11th to 12th century as the centre of a royal estate and lay adjacent to the medieval course of the road to Northampton. Alterations, apparently to serve as a gun platform, are recorded during the Civil War when Prince Rupert refortified the town in 1643. It is described as being 'surrounded by a motte [sic] which is supplied with water from the brook' in the early 18th century, and a surrounding ditch is shown on maps of 1843 and 1848-55 when the site was described as a Garden.
The surviving earthwork has an unusual profile, with gentle lower slopes surmounted by a near vertical face surrounding a level summit. The shape may be the result either of defensive improvements in 1643 or later gardening activity. [RCHM plan and profile] (a-e) (4)

Listed by Cathcart King. (5)

It is most likely that the mound was created during the Anarchy period. I 1392, it was described as a mound tower within a moat, and was probably similar to the mound at South Mimms. In 1643-4, Towcester was refortified, and the mound used to mount two cannon. (6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1955
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : (R S Simms)
Page(s) : 212
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 110 - 1953
Source Number : 6
Source : The Castle Studies Group Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 114-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 21, 2007-8
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JB 29-JAN-70
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in the County of the Northampton. Volume IV: archaeological sites in south-west Northamptonshire
Source details : (Monument 8)
Page(s) : 158
Figs. : 117
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1982
Source Number : 4a
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Northampton: volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 305
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1902
Source Number : 4b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Oxford Record Society 3 1953-3 207 219
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4c
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hist & Antiqs of Northants I 1791 272 (J Bridges)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4d
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Northants Record Office Towcester Tithe Map 1843
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4e
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Northants Record Office map including Towcester 1848-55
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 318
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : late 11th to 12th century
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1067
Monument Type : Motte
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Civil War
Monument End Date : 1649
Monument Start Date : 1642
Monument Type : Gun Emplacement
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 1848
Monument Start Date : 1848
Monument Type : Garden
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13623
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NN 46
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 64 NE 19
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 64 NE 19
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1970-01-29
End Date : 1970-01-29
Associated Activities : Primary, BURYMOUNT
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1984-01-01
End Date : 1984-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BURY MOUNT
Activity type : MANAGEMENT SURVEY
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT BURY MOUNT
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2007-01-01
End Date : 2007-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT BURY MOUNT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, MOAT LANE REGENERATION
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND OFF MOAT LANE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2016-12-31