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Historic England Research Records

Waytemore Castle

Hob Uid: 370363
Location :
Hertfordshire
East Hertfordshire
Bishop's Stortford
Grid Ref : TL4900021480
Summary : Earthwork remains of a late 11th century motte and bailey castle situated north of the town on the east bank of the River Stort. The building foundations of a shell keep are dated to the 12th century. Excavations uncovered Medieval buildings in the bailey apparently made with Roman material, Roman coins were also found. A Roman villa may be located in the vicinity of the castle. Scheduled.
More information : [TL 4900 2148] Waytemore Castle [GT] (Remains of) [NAT] (1)

Waytemore Castle Motte and Bailey stands on low marshy ground north of the town on the east bank of the River Stort. The castle was an early stronghold of the Bishops of London and is of special interest in that it retains traces of a shell keep. The Keep Motte, large and oval, is 40 feet high, and covers at the summit about 1/5 acre. Of the former Shell Keep, which is probably 12th century, little more than the flint rubble foundations remain enclosing roughly rectangular space about 90 feet by 40 feet. The Bailey is much altered and forms roughly a pentagonal enclosure to the south of the motte. The surrounding ditches have been altered into narrow waterways except for the part between the motte and bailey. The entrance was probably on the south from the causeway across the marsh. The site has been acquired by the UDC and the earthworks and remains of shell keep are to be carefully repaired and protected. Condition - of Motte, good; of Keep - ruinous; the Bailey, nearly levelled. (2)

Motte and Bailey as described by Authority 2. The Motte is in good condition, turf covered. The shell keep foundations have been restored by the local council and are kept in good repair. The Bailey is very much levelled. Part of the counterscarp of the ditch which once ran between the Motte and Bailey is still visible at the west end of the north side of the Bailey but is unsurveyable. The site is laid out as pleasure gardens open to the public. (See GP/AO/62/70/8, from NE) (3)

Roman coins found in the Castle garden including one of Marcus (AD 161-180) (4)

Undated burial ground found at Castle Cottage TL 4895 2137 in 1938. (5)

Massive foundations were found in the south west part of the bailey in 1850, some of flint and oolite set in yellow mortar as well as others of possibly Roman brick. A causeway of shingles laid on gravel ran towards the motte and human and other bones and pottery were found. (6)

HT 18 Listed as the possible site of a Roman villa. (7)

Scheduled. (8)

Waytemore Castle, remains of 11th and 12th century motte and bailey. Now public tennis courts and gardens, wooded with grand avenue. Grade I. (9)

Founded in the reignof William I, it was siezed by a would-be Bishop of London in 1137. Dismantled in 1137 and repaired 1213-4. A licence was granted in 1346, probably indicating a reoccupation of the site. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 25" 1939
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Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Hertfordshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 63-4
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 ASP 27-JUL-1962
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Source Number : 4
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Hertford, volume four
Source details :
Page(s) : 150
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Source Number : 5
Source : Transactions of the East Hertfordshire Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 226-7
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Vol(s) : 10, 1937-9
Source Number : 6
Source : Medieval castles in Hertfordshire
Source details :
Page(s) : 23, 25, 26
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Source Number : 7
Source : A gazetteer of Roman villas in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 92
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Vol(s) : 1
Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 03-Aug-92
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Source Number : 9
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : District of East Hertfordshire, Herts 11-Jul-1983
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Source Number : 10
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 219
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Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Villa
Evidence : Find, Conjectural Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Late C11
Monument End Date : 1099
Monument Start Date : 1067
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Castle, Shell Keep
Evidence : Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Repaired 1213-1214
Monument End Date : 1214
Monument Start Date : 1213
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Licenced 1346
Monument End Date : 1346
Monument Start Date : 1346
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Period : Roman
Component Monument Type : Villa
Object Type : COIN, BRICK
Object Material :

Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 20628
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Hertfordshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 6033
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 160900
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 42 SE 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, WAYTEMORE CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1899-01-01
End Date : 1899-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TL 42 SE 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1962-07-27
End Date : 1962-07-27