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Historic England Research Records

Castle Hill

Hob Uid: 68721
Location :
Cheshire West and Chester
Malpas
Grid Ref : SJ4678044140
Summary : A Motte and an associated ditch system surviving as earthworks was discovered during tree felling in 1957. The earthwork consisted of a small platform 128 feet by 25 feet defended on the north by two deep transverse ditches, and on the south by three similar ditches. Excavations discovered no finds but a possible hearth sealed beneath a layer of stones. An 11th or early twelfth century date has been suggested for the Motte. Scheduled.
More information : (Area SJ 46784414) In July 1957, the felling of trees at Castle Hill, Oldcastle revealed an impressive earthwork consisting of a small platform 128 ft by 25 ft defended on the N by two deep transverse ditches, and on the S by three similar ditches.
Thompson carried out a limited excavation in August 1957 when a section was cut in the bottom of one of the northern ditches, and trial trenches dug in the platform on the summit. No evidence on date or structural remains were found, and the purpose of the earthwork remains an enigma. It may possibly be pre-Norman or early medieval. (1)

Scheduled under 'Castles' (2) Plan (3) (1-3)

Surveyed at 1:2500. (4)

The inner of the two northern ditches was sectioned by Thompson, but yielded nothing. Some rapid trenching on the platform, before it was replanted with trees, revealed indications of a layer of stone on natural clay and a possible hearth sealed beneath a layer of stone.
It is possible that the feature is an outpost of the motte and bailey castle at Malpas suggesting, therefore, an 11th or early 12th century date. (5)

This work occupies a steep-sided, very narrow promontory which juts into the valley of the Wych Brook. The promontory lies some 30 feet below the sharp valley edge and the only approach is by a razor-back path.
The topographical position and method of construction, (some of the material being used to raise the central mound) suggests that this is probably a motte. It is now heavily overgrown. (6)

Listed by Cathcart King. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Cheshire Historian 8 1958 23 (F H Thompson)
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : List Anc Mon of Eng and Wales 1961 22 (MOW)
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Source Number : 3
Source : Monuments threatened or destroyed: a select list: 1956-1962
Source details :
Page(s) : 11
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 TPW 06-NOV-64
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Source Number : 5
Source : Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society
Source details : (F H Thompson)
Page(s) : 01-Feb
Figs. :
Plates : 11
Vol(s) : 54 - 1967
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 CFW 16-JAN-73
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Source Number : 7
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 68
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 11th to early 12th century
Monument End Date : 1132
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Motte, Hearth
Evidence : Earthwork, Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CH 66
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 13421
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SJ 44 SE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, CASTLE HILL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1957-01-01
End Date : 1957-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SJ 44 SE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1964-11-06
End Date : 1964-11-06
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SJ 44 SE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1973-01-16
End Date : 1973-01-16