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CHER Number:00720
Type of record:Monument
Name:Bury Close

Summary - not yet available

Grid Reference:TL 12 72
Parish:Spaldwick, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire

Monument Type(s):

Protected Status:

  • SHINE (Unvalidated): Medieval mound, Bury Close, Spaldwick

Full description

1. Banks, ditches and mound seen.

2. The field named Bury Close according to the farmer, is enclosed by a bank, which has probably been used as a field-way and is best preserved to the S where it is 0,8m high, with a ditch 1,4m deep on the outside. Ridge and furrow is visible on the OS air photograph within the area, but this has been disturbed by surface digging and a later pond.

4. The large grass field S of the Vicarage House is surrounded on the E, S, and part of the W sides with a bank, 27 ft wide at its base and 3ft high within the Inclosure and 4 ft 6 in high outside. On the NW and N the bank is very slight on the inside, but the ground outside is considerably lower, especially at the NW corner. The church possibly stood within the Inclosure, but the bank through the churchyard and at the NE corner has been lost. Within the Inclosure, the NW corner, is a roughly circular mound 55ft diameter and about 3ft high, with a shallow trench round it

6. Bury Close is surrounded on two sides by a substantial rampart that must have been surmounted by a wooden stockade. This rampart continues down about half of the W side but has been deliberately lowered and truncated by ploughing. It then swings out slightly into the neighbouring field. The old road from Stow Longa can be seen just W of the rampart seeming as a green hollow way that is in a straight line with the Stow Longa road as it leaves Spaldwick. Bury Field appears to have been lightly ploughed at some time which has blurred the slight earthworks and made interpretation difficult. A mill mound is still distinct, and there appears to be a series of fish ponds in the centre of the field, probably with a small setting tank. A hollow way runs through the field to the church, with an entrance through the rampart. Elsewhere there are paddocks and enclosures that require detailed survey work for their interpretation. There do not seem to be any obvious building sites. The whole field has considerable archaeological and topographical interest and its conservation is very important. Limited changes inland use, however, would be acceptable and would certainly be greatly preferable either to building development or ploughing. Some tree planting as discussed at my meeting with your trees officer would make the site more attractive and interesting without doing significant damage. The SE quarter of the site which we also discussed has a few features and could possibly be made level with extra top soil after some small scale archaeological investigation. It is important to bear in mind that grazing by cows or, even better, by sheep should always be an essential part of site management, as mowing such an uneven field would be very onerous.

7. Suggests that Spaldwick may be a planned village and presents the evidence for this.

O1, The site may be threatened by school extension. Shrinkage: no trace of building sites within the indicated area. The present church at Spaldwick (St James') is Norman; an earlier church adjacent seems unlikely. The subcircular ditched mound centred TL/1262/7285 measures overall28,0m diameter by 1,0m high, with a ditch 0,6m deep. The N side of the ditch has been disturbed by a crescentic excavation 0,3m deep. No debris was found on the mound. It stands on the edge of a river terrace and although in a relatively sheltered position it was probably a mill site. There is no documentary evidence or local tradition of a mill here.


<1> Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SCB3240.

<2> Untitled Source (Bibliographic reference). SCB6231.

<3> Untitled Source (Bibliographic reference). SCB8748.

<4> Page, W. and Proby, G. (eds), 1926, The Victoria County History of Huntingdonshire. Volume 1, 304 (Bibliographic reference). SCB14952.

<5> Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SCB3183.

<6> Untitled Source (Bibliographic reference). SCB1289.

<7> Taylor, C.C., 1990, Spaldwick, Cambridgeshire. PCAS 78: 71-5 (Article in serial). SCB11017.

Sources and further reading

<1>Aerial Photograph:
<2>Bibliographic reference:
<3>Bibliographic reference:
<4>Bibliographic reference: Page, W. and Proby, G. (eds). 1926. The Victoria County History of Huntingdonshire. Volume 1. 304.
<5>Aerial Photograph:
<6>Bibliographic reference:
<7>Article in serial: Taylor, C.C.. 1990. Spaldwick, Cambridgeshire. PCAS 78: 71-5.