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CHER Number:01778
Type of record:Monument
Name:Cambridge Castle

Summary

Medieval Castle at Cambridge, originally built 1068 by William I in the standard motte (mound) and bailey (ditch) style. It is thought that the castle originally had an inner bailey surrounding the motte with a second, outer bailey encompassing a wider area. It is likely, although unproven, that a wooden keep was built on top of the mound.
The site was remodelled in 1283 by Edward I who largely rebuilt the defences in stone, adding a curtain wall, a gatehouse incorporating the town prison and barbican, several towers and a postern along the wall to increase the defensive nature of the site as well as a great hall within the bailey enclosure. It is possible that the outer bailey was also enlarged during the 13th century. The old Shire Hall was added to the site in the late 16th century.
The castle site was again fortified by the Cromwellian army during the Civil War, with new earthwork bastions added and the ditches cleared out. A new barrack block was added to the bailey enclosure, however, there is no evidence of rebuilding of the medieval gatehouse, barbican or mound.
Much of the Civil War earthworks were slighted following the Reformation, however, two bastions survive along the eastern side of the castle site. In 1801 a new octagonal prison was erected on the site, demolishing much of the surviving features on site. The Law Courts were subsequently added on Castle Hill in 1842, replacing the last remains of the Gatehouse. The last surviving stretches of the bailey ditch was also levelled during the 19th century to make way for new roads and residential settlement. Finally the 19th century prison was demolished in the early 20th century to make way for the current Shire Hall while the law courts were demolished in the 1950s.

Grid Reference:TL 445 592
Parish:Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Castle, Cambridge City

Monument Type(s):

  • CASTLE (11th century to 13th century - 1068 AD to 1283 AD)
  • PRISON (19th century - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FORTIFICATION (English Civil Wars - 1642 AD to 1651 AD)
  • CASTLE (13th century to English Civil Wars - 1283 AD to 1643 AD)
  • SHIRE HALL (17th century - 1601 AD to 1700 AD)
  • SHIRE HALL (20th century - 1901 AD to 2000 AD)
  • LAW COURT (19th century - 1801 AD to 1900 AD)
  • NUCLEAR BUNKER (Cold War - 1989 AD to 1989 AD)

Associated Events:

  • Excavations at Castle Hill, 1988 (Ref: CH 88)
  • Watching Brief on repairs to Castle Mound fence, 2008
  • Monitoring work at Castle Hill, Cambridge, 2009 (Ref: CAM CHM 09)
  • Monitoring of the works on Wall Repair at Castle Hill 2013 (Ref: CAM CHM 13)
  • Excavations at the Law Courts, Cambridge, 1956 (Ref: LC)
  • Watching brief at 73 Castle Street, Cambridge, 1995 (Ref: CAM CS 95)
  • Evaluation at 75, 83 & 85 Castle Street, Cambridge, 1993-1994
  • Trial trenches across Cambridge Castle Ditch, 1989
  • Augur survey and test pit at the Castle Inn, Cambridge, 1994 (Ref: CAM CI 94)
  • Excavations at Shire Hall, Cambridge 1983-86 (Ref: SH 83-86)
  • Excavations at 73, 83 & 85 Castle Street, Cambridge in 1988 (Ref: CS)

Protected Status:

  • Scheduled Monument () 1006905: Cambridge Castle Mound
  • Scheduled Monument 1006886: Civil War Earthworks at the Castle

Full description

19. It is known form the Domesday Book that 27 Early Medieval houses were destroyed in 1068 by the order of William I to build a castle in Cambridge. However, McKenny Hughes quotes Thomas Fuller's account of the Conqueror's actions after the defeat of the Ely Monks: "...At what time he found in the town of Cambridge 387 houses, 18 whereof he caused them to be plucked down, to make room for the erecting of a Castle...".

Excavations on the site of the old Law Courts in the 1950's did not pick up any indication of these earlier house within the vicinity of the gatehouse of Castle Street.

Foundations: The Norman Castle (William I)
6. William I built the first castle in Cambridge in 1068. It was a standard Motte and Bailey, presumably with a wooden keep of which no archaeological trace has yet been found. A ditch or moat surrounded the Motte on all sides and may have been water filled as evidence of freshwater springs have been found. The site was later remodelled by Edward I in 1283. It was again reused and extensively readapted by Oliver Cromwell in 1643. The site is located on a promontory, within the site of the Roman centre of Cambridge. The site would have controlled access to Cambridge from the N, and, in part, along the river.
St John Hope quotes Maitland indicating that the castle ward was excluded from the town borough in 1086. There is no suggestion that there was an earlier monument prior to the Norman castle, but evidence of a Saxon to medieval cemetery has been found around the Castle gatehouse (PRN 01778b) has been found indicating some continuity of site.
Of the physical remains a Motte and a bailey ditch surrounding the Motte are still largely intact and are indicated on Loggan; the inner bailey ditch has gallows depicted within it. The extent and type of outer bailey are not known, if existed, and have been speculated to have been the same shape and enclosing the same area as the Edwardian castle. As a result, it has been argued that the Edwardian outer bailey masks the earlier Norman one, though it has been unproven archaeologically.
19. The function of the castle was to serve as the office of the Sheriff. By indications from accounts and taxation documents the castle was inexpensive to run and repair and not very substantial prior to the Edwardian amendments: in 1234 the castle cost 30s to repair; a list of landowners whose lands were charges with the upkeep of the castle exists; in King John's reign the castle contained a small garrison of 20 men; money collected by Henry III was kept at the Augustinian Priory rather than at the castle, but this may have been due to the king's residency desire rather than the need for a safer location for collected taxes.
26. Bowtell recorded a Norman pillar found in excavations on the Castle chapel although this location is not known, which is shown in Downing College.

19. The Norman Motte lies at the south end of the promontory, and in St. John Hopes' day stood 40ft high. Presently the mound is 70m in diameter, with an upper platform 30m in diameter, where the castle structure would have been. The Motte was surrounded by an inner bailey which is visible on Loggan.
21. Construction layers associated with the Motte were encountered during a watching brief in 2013 (MCB19580).
19. The Great Tower or Keep stood on top of the Motte. There is speculation about the type of structure but it is likely it would have been wooden at this time.
1. The Inner Bailey. McKenny Hughes postulates that a "slightly curved fosse" may have existed from the area of the gatehouse almost due north to the east bastion - i.e. an inner bailey ditch. There was apparently within the living memory a recollection of a "hollow running on the south-east side of the prison across the promontory on which it stands".
26. Bowtell recorded a plan and description of the Castle in 1785 which specifically mentions this inner ditch which he describes as being some 16ft in depth. All that remained in his time was a 120 yard oblong circuit, the base of which was used for the gallows - the site was called "Gallows-hole". Bowtell notes that the ditch was infilled in July 1802 by earth from the levelling of the old castle yard prior to the construction of the new County Gaol.
Excavations at the former Law Courts in 1956 revealed several intercutting ditch features thought to represent at least one phase of the bailey ditch. (PRN 05252a)

The 13th Century Rebuild (Edward I)
19. Constructed c. late 1280's, the Edwardian castle is described in a 1606 survey carried out on the castle, prior to the Cromwellian adjustments in 1643. It included the rebuilding of the keep, and either the addition of, or the remodelling of a curtain wall on top of the outer bailey rampart. The start date of this rebuilding phase and usage has been dated to the 1280's, possible 1283, when the Sheriff ordered wood to build a chamber in the castle. In 1286 the Sheriff spent 408 on the hall, gates and walls; the amount spent was small in comparison with other contemporary rebuilds at other castles. Buildings were constructed almost continuously from 1285 to 1299. Edward stayed at the castle in 1293. The castle was originally used as a place in which to house a small garrison with the Sheriff, but it became the prison in 1317. In 1299 when Edward I married Margaret, sister to the King of France, he endowed to her the castle and town of Cambridge, amongst other possessions.
The appearance of Edward's castle is therefore assumed to be similar to both the Norman castle, with its Motte and bailey, and the Post Medieval Cromwellian castle which reused and adapted the Medieval. There are many notices of repairs in the C14. The castle as it stood in the medieval period remained in use and essentially unchanged until 1643 when Cromwell refortified it.
The Edwardian castle consisted therefore of a Motte and inner bailey. An outer bailey which enclosed an area of approximately 5 hectares had a rampart and ditch with a curtain wall made on the top of the bank. Interpretative reconstruction drawings of the castle by Kerrich, and survey drawings by Bowtell suggest that the castle also had a number of towers, 4 of these are accounted for based upon the interpretations carried out by Palmer: gatehouse, tower towards the E, tower near the hall, and postern. The other 2, noted by Kerrich when alterations were made in late C18/C19 exposing their foundations, are a tower between the NW and NE towers, and another opposite the gatehouse on the E side of the outer bailey. The tower towards the E, as Palmer calls it though it actually lies W of the Motte, is located so that it protects the castle at its supposed weakest point.
3. The evidence of the original accounts, later maps and surveys of the site and ill-recorded finds made in the C18 and C19 indicate the building in stone of a curtain wall, a SW gatehouse with barbican opposite the moat, towers at the E, N and S angles of the defences, the motte, and a great hall in the NW part of the bailey. The whole was completed between 1283 and the king's death, a chapel first mentioned in the Pipe Rolls of I Ed II being built or rebuilt probably during the same period. Edward I's expenditure upon it was £2,525. It was, it seems, largely surrounded by wet moats; a moat also skirted the N of the motte to separate the last from the bailey.
An inquest in 1367 into the defective state of wall, towers and houses, and the extensive alienation of stone from here for College buildings in the C15 and C16 show the progress of deterioration, although as late as 1585 attempts were still being made to retain the curtain wall; by 1606 the SW gatehouse was the only complete building left, being preserved by its use as a prison.
The tower that is depicted by Hammond, Lyne et al. is probably the one originally built by Edward in 1288. Arthur Agade, an antiquarian, says that it was standing as late as 1553. Palmer suggests that the tower on the Motte had disappeared completely by 1608.
The bailey of Cambridge Castle extended to the north-west of the Motte, in the direction of the present day Huntingdon Road. It is likely that there was both an inner and outer bailey as was common to castles of this design. The bailey would have housed a variety of out-buildings connected with the daily running of the castle as well as for defensive purposes, e.g. garrison, hall, kitchens etc.
19. The ditch extends from the original Norman ditch around the mound in a horse-shoe shape, the size of the bailey ditch and bank will have varied during its life; the suggestion is that the three periods of usage, i.e. the in Norman, Edwardian and Cromwellian periods, there was a continuity in the alignment of the bailey.
1. Mckenny Hughes infers the extent of the Medieval Castle precinct as being much larger than the suggestions made by Palmer, putting it along the line of the Roman fortifications along Storey's Orchard and Paddock, Mount Pleasant, and along the estimated line of the Roman town wall and ditch from excavations.
Evidence of a substantial ditch, interpreted as the medieval bailey have been encountered on a number of occasions within the Castle precinct.
27. Excavations in the Shire Hall Car Park in 1983 encountered a substantial ditch in trench VI, however this alignment is different, i.e. further to the north-east, than it is conventionally thought the outer bailey ditch extended. (MCB22205)
14. Excavations to the rear of 10-20 Castle Hill in 1989 again encountered a substantial ditch over 4m deep, although no finds were recovered. (MCB16074)
28. Excavations at 75-85 Castle Street in 1993 encountered a 4m deep ditch dating to the 12th-13th century (PRN 11503a).
29. Excavations at the adjacent 73 Castle Street in 1995 also identified a wide ditch in excess of 4.5m deep (PRN 11718)
30. Monitoring work to the rear of Castle Inn traced the western edge of the ditch, although the base of the feature wasn’t reached, it was thought to be in excess of 4m in depth (PRN 11880)
31. Evidence of the outer bailey ditch was again identified during an evaluation at 68 Castle Street in 2005-2006. (MCB17393).
19. The curtain wall connected the gatehouse with the towers of the castle around the perimeter of the outer bailey. It was built as part of Edward I's Castle c. 1287 of stone on a clunch foundation. Once finished in 1287, it was thatched with reeds which needed extensive repairs approximately every four years.
The main gatehouse to the Castle stood on the western (or south-western) side of the bailey and was the main feature of the King's Edward I's Castle. The structure was built c. 1287-88 and remained standing in some part until 1840. Palmer notes that Bowtell describes the gatehouse as it stood in 1785 some fifty years before it was demolished. The building was 42ft 3in in height to the top of the battlements and 35ft wide. It had double gates with a portcullis. The groove in which the latter moved was c. 5.5in wide. The roof of the gateway was arched in stone and the entrance to it was on the south-east side by means of a staircase. At the top of the stairs was a doorway with a circular head of plain mouldings with a span of 3yds 4.5in. The doorway led to a room which took up the whole of the second storey - also called "the hall".
Once the Castle began to fall into disrepair, one of the few buildings which continued in use was the old gatehouse. It became the County Gaol and was used as such until it was pulled down c. 1840 to make room for the new Law Courts / Shire Hall building. Bowtell's manuscripts contain a scale drawing of the gatehouse in 1808, reproduced in Palmer's book. The building was used to house not only prisoners (felons as well as debtors and the occasional political prisoner - Jesuits after the Gunpowder Plot and later Protestant Nonconformists), but was also used as a private asylum from c. 1660.
By the middle of the reign of Elizabeth I the Castle was beginning to fall into a state of disrepair, so much so that by 1585 much of the walls and other buildings, except the gatehouse, were being pulled down and the stone re-used in building the colleges. By 1600 the gatehouse had become the common gaol, indeed a survey dated 8th January 1606 states that all that remained of the castle was the gatehouse, now the gaol, while the remaining walls and foundations of the structure were "…razed and utterly ruinated saving a parcel of wall on the N.W. side which has a convenient house builded unto it for the use of the Grand Jury and safe keeping of jurors that enquire and pass upon trials for the King and his people at the Assizes, Gaol deliveries and Sessions."
1. Mckenny Hughes quotes Bowtell's description directly and what Palmer refers to as the gateway roof, Bowtell actually describes as the Hall. A sketch was made of the gateway in 1730 by Buck and is included in McKenny Hughes' paper.
Archaeological excavations at the site of the former Law Courts in 1956 encountered a number of ashlar limestone blocks thought to belong to the gatehouse. (PRN 05252a)
19. The Castle barbican is thought to have stood on the block of land on the west side of Castle Street bounded by Shelly Row, Castle Row, Castle Street and Whyman's Lane. The building was constructed by 1288, presumably as part of Edward I's refortifications. Palmer describes it as having a thatched roof - parallel thatched walls were thought to have extended from the gatehouse portcullis to the drawbridge over the moat and thence to the barbican (a distance of some 37 yards).
19. It can be presumed that a drawbridge was built between the gatehouse and the barbican c. 1288 as reference is made to such a stone structure which had superseded it by the C16. Very little detail is known about the original structure, other than the fact that it was some 37 yards from the gatehouse to the barbican
The Postern was located on the NE side of the bailey. Built c. 1288, finally totally demolished early C19. Palmer seems to use the term "Postern" to refer to two different buildings. Firstly he clearly describes the Postern (p.13) and gives its location as standing in the east angle of the curtain wall on foundations which had been destroyed "with great difficulty" in 1807. He then later stated that Kerrich's sketch of the Castle c. 1786, only showed the postern as being dotted in - on the northern (eastern) part of the curtain wall.
The New Tower towards the East. This is the phrase used by Palmer to describe the tower which lies W of the mound. However, in the order in which he writes the tower that he describes after the gate house actually lies "towards the east" of the gate house. It is described by Palmer as being the weakest part of the fortifications, which may be a restatement of Babington (p190). The foundations were dug in March 1287; and in the next year a canopy was being built for the roof.
Part of Edward's Castle. In ruins like rest of Castle by 1585.
The New Tower near the hall was finished in 1295, when it was thatched. It was located in the NW corner of the bailey rampart. It is depicted by Kerrich. It is perhaps shown on Lyne's map.
Great Hall. Built c. 1286, probably in ruins by 1585. This was the first part to be built by Edward. Up to 1286 he spent £100; in 1287 wood was bought from the market for a stable beneath and a solar above the hall. The hall was built on to the curtain wall on the NW side of the bailey, and a part of it survived until the end of the C19. In 1295, however, a separate stable was built. The hall was without a roof in 1441.

The Civil War Fortifications
1. The Post Medieval castle is primarily that of the Cromwellian one which was readapted from the Edwardian Medieval castle in 1643.
19. There was an open shire house, built at the cost of the inhabitants of Cambridge. The castle was robbed of its stone by the whole town but especially by the colleges at the times of their foundations; Emmanuel College and Magdalene College benefited, as well as Great St. Mary's church and Sir John Huddleston for the rebuilding of his house at Sawston. Parts of the castle area were leased to various individuals between 1617 and 1635. During Charles I reign a law sit was conducted between a speculator and Chesterton manor concerning the rights to the waste lands about the castle which had been built upon the ground made by digging of the castle bank into the ditch next to Castle Street. The trouble was caused by the dissolution of Barnwell Priory, who held Chesterton in which the castle lay, resulting in the castle falling into the possession of the people of Cambridge. As a result parts of the castle were leased to individuals who consequently built upon its grounds. The tenements that were leased in 1692 are shown on Loggan. There is a suggestion that the castle possessed a double bank outside its walls. The assertion may infer that the houses were built upon the ground that the destruction of the bank and ditch provided.
In 1642 Cromwell seized the magazine in the castle, and in 1643 the castle was refortified. Materials provided for the rebuilding of Clare Hall were confiscated, and used for the rebuild. There were apparently 15 houses which were pulled down in preparation for the refortification. Cromwell revamped the perimeter of the castle, and supported the corners with bastions, 3 of which had survived at the time of Bowtell's survey in 1785; the NE bastion has in part survived; the NW bastion survived until the development of Castle Hill in the 1980's. Cromwell built a three storied building was built in the centre of the old bailey during the Civil War (c. 1643) as a barrack block. It is shown on James Essex's sketch dated 1740.
2.By the early C17 the bailey, now dry, began to be used as a bridle way and so developed into the present Castle Street, the barbican disappearing entirely. It appears from inquiries instituted in the C17, before the Civil War, that there was a double bank outside the wall on the Chesterton side. It is difficult to account for this unless it was some trace of the older Roman defences, but it was destroyed when the castle was remodelled.
At the opening of the Civil War the importance of Cambridge as the headquarters of the Eastern Counties Association made it necessary to put the castle into a state of defence. The only parts of the older castle retained were the motte and the massive gatehouse. The line of the curtain wall was reconstructed in accordance with the principles of C17 fortification.
The Great Tower or Keep was still standing in 1553, but by Hammond's map in 1592 the Motte is shown without a Keep.
19. Evidence of a substantial post medieval ditch, probably associated with the Civil War defences have been encountered on several occasions at the Law Courts (PRN 05252a), 75-85 Castle Street (PRN 11718), 73 Castle Street (PRN 11503a) while upstanding earthwork remains survive to the north (PRN 08434) and east (PRN 04831).
1. McKenny Hughes quotes Bowtell's 1785 manuscript to the effect that the new bastions, along with the ramparts and parts of the ditches, were added by Cromwell in 1643. By 1647 the order was handed down from Parliament that the defences which had been rebuilt around the castle should be ". . . Slighted, and reduced to the same condition they were in before the War." A French visitor in 1672 reported that there were no fortifications or enclosing wall around the castle.
At some time in the late C17 (after the Civil War) - C19 the western ramparts, including the wall, were pushed into the moat in order to widen Castle Street and form a platform on which to build the police station.
19. Palmer reproduces Buck's view of the Castle c. 1730 and it shows a part of the curtain wall still standing to the south of the gatehouse. Presumably it was demolished at the same time as the gatehouse in 1840. Palmer seems to use the term "Postern" to refer to two different buildings. Firstly he clearly describes the Postern (p.13) and gives its location as standing in the east angle of the curtain wall on foundations which had been destroyed "with great difficulty" in 1807. He then later stated that Kerrich's sketch of the Castle c. 1786, only showed the postern as being dotted in - on the northern (eastern) part of the curtain wall.
Palmer notes that parts of the barbican remained standing until the C17. By 1754 all traces of the barbican had disappeared from collective memory and the land reverted to the Corporation as waste ground.
A stone bridge once spanned the moat from the gatehouse to the barbican and/or Castle Street. When the bridge replaced the original drawbridge is not known, but by the time of Elizabeth I it is recorded that a stone arched bridge crossed the moat which stood high enough for a cart to be driven beneath its central span. Presumably the bridge was knocked down about the same time that the ditch was infilled in the early C19.
A three storied building was built in the centre of the old bailey during the Civil War (c. 1643) as a barrack block. It is shown on James Essex's sketch dated 1740. After the war it was used as a house of correction and as a residence of the gaoler.
April 1962 Site visit. The site of the castle is now occupied by buildings and grounds of the Cambridgeshire County Council. The motte is in good condition. The bailey ramparts to the northwest and northeast are reduced and in poor to fair condition. The Cromwellian earthworks have been mutilated and cut into for the construction of cycle sheds, etc. Published survey (25in 1927) revised; suitable for 1/1250.

April 1982. Site visit., No original stonework left. Earthwork (reconstructed in 17th century) of bailey survives in part on the east side. Motte fairly perfect, ditch dividing it from bailey filled in. Mound flat topped and grass covered, 12m in height, 70m diameter. The earthwork is in reasonable condition, though suffering from a certain amount of erosion from feet. The bailey is now impossible to define, much of the area under the new Shire Hall and attendant car park areas and Cambridgeshire County Council gardens.
13. Gives account of an early use of Collyweston stone slate at Cambridge Castle.
16. Three post holes were dug at the boundary wall for repairs to the boundary fence. The work was done under Class V consent (Health& Safety). Holes were hand dug to 40cm deep and 10cm wide. Only modern debris was located, showing a build up of modern material behind the wall.

32. The castle has been depicted on a number of maps since the 16th century, the earliest is Lyne’s map of 1574 which shows a stone castle on a mound with walls and 2 towers either side (one possibly the gatehouse).
33. Braun’s map of 1588 shows a slightly different view of the castle from the gatehouse fronting onto Castle Street, the curtain wall then encompasses one substantial tower, presumably on the site of the motte as well as at least two further towers. Several structures can be seen inside the curtain wall.
34. Speed’s map from 1610 has the castle only on the very edge with the tower on the mound and the curtain wall extending down each side and some way back around the outer bailey. A gallows is recorded at the base of the mound for the first time.
35. Loggan’s map of 1688 is the first detailed depiction of the castle site and includes the remnants of the Civil War earthworks. The outer defences are shown to be water filled along the eastern section of the defences with slight earthworks shown along the southern and northern arms. The western line is shown only as a basic boundary line. The mound is clearly marked, as is a ditch feature immediately surrounding it, thought to represent the inner moat. The gallows are recorded within the ditch feature on the northern side. Within the bailey enclosure there are several buildings including the prison on Castle Street (formerly the gatehouse) the Shire House to the east of the enclosure and a large un-named L shaped building with a small formal garden close to the northern arm.
36 & 37. A plan of Cambridge dated 1763 depicts the castle site in much the same way as Loggan, however, this plan identifies the L shaped building as ‘Brideswell’, or prison. Custance’s plan of 1788 also shows the L shaped building as the ‘county bridewell’
38. Spalding’s plan of Cambridge from 1898 depicts the octagonal prison and county courts in front.

Post 17th Century
3. The much mutilated earthworks of Cambridge Castle are in poor condition. The motte is of interest for the traces of a berm below the summit perhaps marking the site of an apron wall round the keep. The motte, a truncated cone in shape, is 200ft in diameter at the base, 34ft across the top, and rises 33ft above modern ground level on the N, 53ft on the S. The N base is about 70ft above OD. Paths are cut into the sides and original features are not certainly identifiable, but on the S, some 9ft below the top a narrow terrace begins and curves downward to the E, where it is 10ft wide, then rises again towards the N; It is shown clearly as a level berm in plans and elevations of 1785 (BMADD MSS 6735, 65, 68) and indicated in Fuller's view of 1634. Leading NE from the motte, the bank of the bailey 5.5ft high on the inside, 8ft across the top, with a drop of 15ft to a modern wall on the outside, extends for some 40 yards to where it is abruptly cut away down to the mutilated remains of the E bastion of the Civil War defences. From the latter work a bank, 3.5ft high inside and 4ft outside above the scarp of the old ditch, leads NW for some 40yards; it is then cut back. The N bastion 50 yards further on preserves more clearly the angularity of the Civil War earthwork, but is much cut into on the N and W. The defences on the NW and SW are destroyed except for traces of the bailey bank branching NW from the motte.

The later development of the Castle, after Cromwell, included its usage as a prison and a county administration centre.
The old Shire Hall once stood towards the eastern side of the old bailey. It was likely built c. 1572 by Lord Roger North - Cole recorded a carved inscription on the building. It is shown on a sketch by James Essex c. 1740 as a double winged building. It contained the Law Courts - the smaller building in the sketch being for Crown cases, the larger one for common law cases. Palmer describes the building (after Bowtell) as being wooden, but built on a brick foundation. Hammond, on the other hand, shows the law courts on his map of Cambridge as having an arched portico supported by four columns.
3. In 1647 the new defences were slighted, but the three bastions, to E, N and W, remained (see William Custance's map of Cambridge, 1798); the W bastion was removed in 1811.
Between 1801 and 1807 a new octagonal County gaol designed by G Byfield was built, the surface of the bailey lowered and levelled, and the moat N of the motte filled in with building debris (MCB20823).
In 1842 the SW gatehouse was pulled down to make way for the Court House designed by TH Wyatt and D Brandon, which itself was demolished in 1954 (MCB19395).
In 1932 a new Shire Hall containing an emergency planning centre (CB15106) was built on the site freed by the demolition of the County gaol.
In 1989 a late era nuclear bunker intended to serve as an emergency planning centre was added (MCB).


<1> Hughes, T. McK., 1894, On the Castle Hill, Cambridge. PCAS 8: 173-212 (Article in serial). SCB11027.

<2> Salzman, L.F (ed), 1948, The Victoria County History of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. Volume 2, 23 - 24(plan) (Bibliographic reference). SCB14649.

<3> RCHM, 1959, An Inventory of the Historic Monuments in the City of Cambridge. Volume II, 304 - 306 (plan) (Bibliographic reference). SCB12532.

<4> 1960, OS 6 inch map (Map). SCB9021.

<5> Untitled Source (Bibliographic reference). SCB7003.

<6> St Hope John, W.H., 1907, On the Norman origin of Cambridge Castle. PCAS 11: 324-46, p. 324 (Article in serial). SCB10339.

<7> PCAS Octavo Series 20, p. 3 (Monograph). SCB11058.

<8> Babington, C.C., 1883, Ancient Cambridgeshire (Bibliographic reference). SCB1323.

<9> Armitage, E., 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles, p. 115-6 (Bibliographic reference). SCB1236.

<11> Masters, R., 1787, A second letter from Mr. Masters to George Steevens, Esq. On stone coffins found in repairing Cambridge Castle. Archaeologia 8: 66, p. 63-66 (Article in serial). SCB21058.

<11> Masters, R., 1787, An account of some stone coffins and skeletons, found on making some alterations and repairs in the Cambridge castle. In a letter to Rev. Dr. Lort. Archaeologia 8: 63-65, p. 63-66 (Article in serial). SCB1202.

<12> Lobel, M.D. (ed), 1975, Historic Towns: The Atlas of Historic Towns. Volume 2, Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Norwich, (plan) (Bibliographic reference). SCB6313.

<13> Sharp, H.B., 1984, Stone at Cambridge Castle: an Early Use of Collyweston Stone Slate. PCAS 72: 62-78 (Article in serial). SCB10937.

<14> Malim, T. and Taylor, A., 1992, Cambridge Castle Ditch. TL44605925. PCAS 80: 1-6 (Article in serial). SCB18995.

<15> Archaeology Rheesearch Group, 2006, Shire Hall & Castle Mound Cambridge (Unpublished report). SCB20262.

<16> Carroll, Q., 2009, Watching Brief on Cambridge Castle, December 2008 (Unpublished document). SCB21191.

<17> Fairbairn, J., 2009, Cambridge Castle Hill: Monitoring of test pits at base of motte: Archaeological Watching Brief report (Unpublished report). SCB21307.

<18> Atkins, 2009, Castle mound investigation, Non Intrusive Survey (Unpublished report). SCB21407.

<19> Palmer, W. M., 1976, Cambridge Castle (Bibliographic reference). SCB21813.

<20> Petty, M., Woodall, S. and Inman, C., 2007, Cambridge: Memories of Times Past, plate 69 (Bibliographic reference). SCB20538.

<21> Webster, M., 2013, Archaeological Watching Brief at Cambridge Castle Mound (Unpublished document). SCB38968.

<22> Cessford, C & Dickens, A, 2005, Cambridge Castle Hill: Excavations of Saxon, Medieval and Post-Medieval deposits, Saxon execution site and a Medieval coin hoard. PCAS 94: 73-101 (Article in serial). SCB19447.

<23> Osborne, M., 1990, Cromwellian Fortifications in Cambridgeshire (Bibliographic reference). SCB9943.

<24> Taylor, A., Castles of Cambridgeshire (Bibliographic reference). SCB19242.

<25> Renn, D.F., 1973, Norman Castles in Britain (Bibliographic reference). SCB13873.

<26> Bowtell, J., 1813, John Bowtell's MSS (Unpublished report). SCB48036.

<27> Alexander, J., 1962, Excavations on Castle Hill, Cambridge, 1956 - 1961, Interim Report (Unpublished document). SCB574.

<28> Butler, R., 1994, Archaeological Investigations at 75, 83 and 85 Castle Street, Cambridge, 1994 (Unpublished report). SCB17964.

<29> Taylor, A., Malim, T. and Evans, C., 1995, Fieldwork in Cambridgeshire: October 1993 - September 1994. PCAS 83: 167-76 (Article in serial). SCB17639.

<30> Roberts, J., 1996, The Castle Inn, Castle Street, Cambridge. An Archaeological Assessment (Unpublished report). SCB18260.

<31> Crank, N. and Murray, J., 2001, Land adjoining 68 Castle Street, Cambridge. An Archaeological Evaluation (Unpublished report). SCB18259.

<32> Lyne, R., 1574, Lyne's Plan of Cambridge (Map). SCB47986.

<33> Braun, 1575, Braun's map of Cambridge (Map). SCB48105.

<34> Speed, J., 1610, Speed's map of Cambridge (Map). SCB48106.

<35> Loggan,, 1688, Loggan's map of Cambridge (Map). SCB47978.

<36> Unknown, 1763, Map of Cambridge (Map). SCB48107.

<37> Custance, W, 1798, Map of Cambridge (Map). SCB48063.

Sources and further reading

<1>Article in serial: Hughes, T. McK.. 1894. On the Castle Hill, Cambridge. PCAS 8: 173-212.
<2>Bibliographic reference: Salzman, L.F (ed). 1948. The Victoria County History of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. Volume 2. 23 - 24(plan).
<3>Bibliographic reference: RCHM. 1959. An Inventory of the Historic Monuments in the City of Cambridge. Volume II. 304 - 306 (plan).
<4>Map: 1960. OS 6 inch map.
<5>Bibliographic reference:
<6>Article in serial: St Hope John, W.H.. 1907. On the Norman origin of Cambridge Castle. PCAS 11: 324-46. p. 324.
<7>Monograph: PCAS Octavo Series 20. p. 3.
<8>Bibliographic reference: Babington, C.C.. 1883. Ancient Cambridgeshire.
<9>Bibliographic reference: Armitage, E.. 1912. The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles. p. 115-6.
<11>Article in serial: Masters, R.. 1787. An account of some stone coffins and skeletons, found on making some alterations and repairs in the Cambridge castle. In a letter to Rev. Dr. Lort. Archaeologia 8: 63-65. p. 63-66.
<11>Article in serial: Masters, R.. 1787. A second letter from Mr. Masters to George Steevens, Esq. On stone coffins found in repairing Cambridge Castle. Archaeologia 8: 66. p. 63-66.
<12>Bibliographic reference: Lobel, M.D. (ed). 1975. Historic Towns: The Atlas of Historic Towns. Volume 2, Bristol, Cambridge, Coventry, Norwich. (plan).
<13>Article in serial: Sharp, H.B.. 1984. Stone at Cambridge Castle: an Early Use of Collyweston Stone Slate. PCAS 72: 62-78.
<14>Article in serial: Malim, T. and Taylor, A.. 1992. Cambridge Castle Ditch. TL44605925. PCAS 80: 1-6.
<15>Unpublished report: Archaeology Rheesearch Group. 2006. Shire Hall & Castle Mound Cambridge.
<16>Unpublished document: Carroll, Q.. 2009. Watching Brief on Cambridge Castle, December 2008.
<17>Unpublished report: Fairbairn, J.. 2009. Cambridge Castle Hill: Monitoring of test pits at base of motte: Archaeological Watching Brief report.
<18>Unpublished report: Atkins. 2009. Castle mound investigation, Non Intrusive Survey.
<19>Bibliographic reference: Palmer, W. M.. 1976. Cambridge Castle.
<20>Bibliographic reference: Petty, M., Woodall, S. and Inman, C.. 2007. Cambridge: Memories of Times Past. plate 69.
<21>Unpublished document: Webster, M.. 2013. Archaeological Watching Brief at Cambridge Castle Mound.
<22>Article in serial: Cessford, C & Dickens, A. 2005. Cambridge Castle Hill: Excavations of Saxon, Medieval and Post-Medieval deposits, Saxon execution site and a Medieval coin hoard. PCAS 94: 73-101.
<23>Bibliographic reference: Osborne, M.. 1990. Cromwellian Fortifications in Cambridgeshire.
<24>Bibliographic reference: Taylor, A.. Castles of Cambridgeshire.
<25>Bibliographic reference: Renn, D.F.. 1973. Norman Castles in Britain.
<26>Unpublished report: Bowtell, J.. 1813. John Bowtell's MSS.
<27>Unpublished document: Alexander, J.. 1962. Excavations on Castle Hill, Cambridge, 1956 - 1961, Interim Report.
<28>Unpublished report: Butler, R.. 1994. Archaeological Investigations at 75, 83 and 85 Castle Street, Cambridge, 1994.
<29>Article in serial: Taylor, A., Malim, T. and Evans, C.. 1995. Fieldwork in Cambridgeshire: October 1993 - September 1994. PCAS 83: 167-76.
<30>Unpublished report: Roberts, J.. 1996. The Castle Inn, Castle Street, Cambridge. An Archaeological Assessment.
<31>Unpublished report: Crank, N. and Murray, J.. 2001. Land adjoining 68 Castle Street, Cambridge. An Archaeological Evaluation.
<32>Map: Lyne, R.. 1574. Lyne's Plan of Cambridge.
<33>Map: Braun. 1575. Braun's map of Cambridge.
<34>Map: Speed, J.. 1610. Speed's map of Cambridge.
<35>Map: Loggan,. 1688. Loggan's map of Cambridge.
<36>Map: Unknown. 1763. Map of Cambridge.
<37>Map: Custance, W. 1798. Map of Cambridge.

Related records

04831Related to: Cambridge Castle: Civil War earthworks (Monument)
MCB17288Related to: English Civil War Defence Line, Cambridge (Monument)
09875Related to: Fort at Four Lamps, Cambridge (Monument)
09877Related to: 'Mount Ararat' Fort, Chesterton (Monument)

Images

Trench at Shire Hall © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Trench at Shire Hall © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Snow on Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Snow on Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Erosion Scar of Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Erosion Scar of Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Reinstatement Works in Progress at Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Reinstatement Works in Progress at Castle Mound © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Parchmarks Showing Prison at Shire Hall © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Parchmarks Showing Prison at Shire Hall © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

View from Castle Mound of Shire Hall © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

View from Castle Mound of Shire Hall © Cambridge County Council. Click to open in a new window.

Reports

73-85 Castle Street © CAU. Click to open in a new window (1.03 MB).

73-85 Castle Street © CAU. Click to open in a new window (1.03 MB).

68 Castle Street © HAT. Click to open in a new window (2.14 MB).

68 Castle Street © HAT. Click to open in a new window (2.14 MB).