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Name:ALLEGED CASTLE SITE, Castle Hill
HER No.:33
Type of Record:Monument

Summary

Site known as Castle Hill since the 16th century. The sides of the hill fall away steeply to the north west and south west, but these slopes have been terraced for housing. A disused sand pit lies on its east side and there is an area of ridge and furrow to the west of the hill.

No associated finds have been made and there are no clear documentary references to the siting of a castle here. The area lay within the common fields until Enclosure so is unlikely to have been a castle site, so it is unclear where the name originates from.

Grid Reference:SP 973 362
Parish:RIDGMONT, CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE, BEDFORDSHIRE
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Full Description

<1> Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey 6" Provisional Edition, SP 9733 3624 (Map). SBD10761.

Castle (NR) (site of)

<2> E Denroche, 1978, Ridgmont Parish Survey (Unpublished document). SBD10797.

Small motte to NW of village on spur of sandstone, encircled by Lidds Road and Station Road, known as Castle Hill. Earthworks encroached by building and sand workings to E [SMR 3020], and site has been considerably modified during the creation of a garden on the top, by the present owner. This site has been ignored by historians & antiquarians, particularly because the descent of the land is difficult to trace. However, many of the references to a castle in the parish may concern this site rather than the mound at Brogborough [SMR30].

<3> Bedfordshire & Luton Archives and Records Service Documents, BLARS: CRT 100/16, quoting LR2/195, 15 Eliz I (Unpublished document). SBD10551.

Known as Castle Hill since 16th century.

<4> William Page & H. Arthur Doubleday (Editors), Victoria County History, Bedfordshire, Vol. 3, 1912, p. 321 (quoting Annales Monastici (Rolls Series) iii, p. 269) (Bibliographic reference). SBD10574.

Earliest reference to a castle in a reallotment of land in 1276. Awarded Walter Beywin [Bevan] 7 selions 'above the castle of Rugemont'. Has been assumed to refer to Brogborough but could describe land near Ridgmont village (term 'above' meaning on the higher land of the sandstone ridge). Also, Bevans Manor was to develop in this SE part of the parish.

<5> Bedfordshire County Council, Planning Dept File (Unpublished document). SBD11426.

Details of owner

<6> Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Record Cards, OS: SP 93 NE 5 (Unpublished document). SBD10879.

(SP97333624) Castle (NR) (site of) (OS 6" 1960)
No visible remains of this ancient castle now exist and the mound on which it is supposed to have stood has been levelled and nothing now remains to indicate its former importance. (ONB rev. 1900 Sheet 21 SW p.10; J. L. Gain, Park Farm Office, Woburn; BAH 14/12/1972)

Rugemont Castle, the stronghold of the de Greys and their predecessors the Wahulls in the parish of Ridgmont. It is not mentioned before the 12th C. (Williams sites Rugemont Castle to the "Intrenchments" at Brogborough Park Farm (see SP93 NE 2), but as there is doubt as to the classification of the latter, the castle was possibly in the village of Ridgmont). (VCH Beds. 3, 1912, p. 321).

There is no trace of a castle or castle mound at the OS published site on Castle Hill, a knoll at the NW end of a spur, separated from the spur by a disused sand-pit on its E side.
The sides of Castle Hill fall away steeply to the NW and SW though these slopes have been terraced for housing. The summit is occupied by an allotment garden. No finds have been made, and no castle is noted on maps or documents held in Bedford Record Office.
To the W of the knoll is an extensive area of ridge and furrow.
The only evidence for a castle therefore is (a) the good natural defensive position, (b) the name Castle Hill, © documentary evidence for the name Rugemont Castle, and (d) the proximity of Md agriculture. This is insufficient to enable classification as a castle site, though it seems probable. (NKB 08/08/1973).

<7> Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey 25" Map (1:2500), 1968 (Map). SBD11544.

Castle Hill shown on map

<8> HER Slide Archive, 2185-2186 (Slide). SBD10508.

Painting and sketch of mound

<9> NMR/AMIE, HE NRHE Monument Inventory, 346614 (Index). SBD12367.

Rugemont Castle (poss. site of), site inferred through name of hill. However, it has been stated that the site was common lands. It is also possible that Rugemont Castle was the Round House site (Monument number 346609).

<10> NMR/AMIE, HE NRHE Monument Inventory, Email revieved 22/11/2012 from Mr P Davis (Index). SBD12367.

James Petre (The Castles of Bedfordshire pp104-105) rejects this as a castle site. He states the site was common lands. It seems generally accepted that the historic Rugemont Castle was the Round House site (monument number 346609).

Protected Status:

  • Archaeological Notification Area
  • Archaeological Notification Area (AI) HER33: ALLEGED CASTLE SITE, Castle Hill

Monument Type(s):

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds: None recorded

Associated Events: None recorded

Sources and Further Reading

[1]SBD10761 - Map: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey 6" Provisional Edition. SP 9733 3624.
[2]SBD10797 - Unpublished document: E Denroche. 1978. Ridgmont Parish Survey.
[3]SBD10551 - Unpublished document: Bedfordshire & Luton Archives and Records Service Documents. BLARS: CRT 100/16, quoting LR2/195, 15 Eliz I.
[4]SBD10574 - Bibliographic reference: William Page & H. Arthur Doubleday (Editors). Victoria County History, Bedfordshire. Vol. 3, 1912, p. 321 (quoting Annales Monastici (Rolls Series) iii, p. 269).
[5]SBD11426 - Unpublished document: Bedfordshire County Council. Planning Dept File.
[6]SBD10879 - Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Record Cards. OS: SP 93 NE 5.
[7]SBD11544 - Map: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey 25" Map (1:2500). 1968.
[8]SBD10508 - Slide: HER Slide Archive. 2185-2186.
[9]SBD12367 - Index: NMR/AMIE. HE NRHE Monument Inventory. 346614.
[10]SBD12367 - Index: NMR/AMIE. HE NRHE Monument Inventory. Email revieved 22/11/2012 from Mr P Davis.