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Historic England Research Records

Ely Castle

Hob Uid: 375091
Location :
Cambridgeshire
East Cambridgeshire
Ely
Grid Ref : TL5410079900
Summary : Ely Castle, or Cherry Hill Castle, a motte and bailey built by William I in 1070 to subdue Ely. Once Ely was quiessent, the motte was abandoned. However it was refortified in 1140 and immediately cptured by King Stephen, and was captured by Geoffrey de Mandeville in 1143. It lies on the south side of the Cathedral Park just inside 'Ely' Porta and close to the old tithe barn of the monastery. The motte is 40ft high with a basal diameter of 250ft and a summit diameter of 50ft. No ditch remains. The bailey consists of a four-sided enclosure on the south east of the motte, 300ft x 250ft. The surrounding bank is slight and there is no trace of an outer ditch. There is a gap in the north side where it should join the motte.
More information : (TL 541799) Cherry Hill (TI) Motte and Bailey (GT) (1)

A small motte and bailey on the south side of the Cathedral Park just inside 'Ely' Porta and close to the old tithe barn of the monastery. The motte is 40ft high with a basal diameter of 250ft and a summit diameter of 50ft. No ditch remains. The bailey consists of a four-sided enclosure on the south east of the motte, 300ft x 250ft. The surrounding bank is slight and there is no trace of an outer ditch. There is a gap in the north side where it should join the motte.
This was a royal castle built by William I in 1070 after the submission of 'Ely'. Its object was to maintain this submission and as soon as this was secured it appears to have fallen into decay. No attempt was ever made to build any other fortress on the isle. The castle belongs to the same class as the first Cambridge Castle (TL 45 NW5). (2)

Earthwork as described above although the motte is quite large. Some levelling has been carried out on the west side of the
motte, and within the bailey terracing associated with a chool
sports field is evident.
See annotated 25" survey. (3)

Contra authy 2, Cathcart King has evidence that the castle was refortified in 1140 and taken at once, and again by Geoffrey de Mandeville in 1143. (4)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1925-1950
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Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely : volume two
Source details :
Page(s) : 29
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHS 13-NOV-69
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 4
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 40
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built 1070
Monument End Date : 1070
Monument Start Date : 1070
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Last documented 1143
Monument End Date : 1143
Monument Start Date : 1143
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CB 39
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cambridgeshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 1764
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 57 NW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON TL 57 NW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1969-11-13
End Date : 1969-11-13
Associated Activities : CHERRY HILL CASTLE MOUND
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1974-01-01
End Date : 1977-12-31