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HER Number: 3132
Record Type: Monument
Name: Castle Mound at Fitzharris


  • Scheduled Monument () 1006311: Castle Mound at Fitzharris
Grid Reference: SU 496 975

Monument Type(s):


Consists of small oval motte 2m high, 14.5m x 12m across top. Large pit dug into top of mound. Surrounded by ditch, which is silted but wet. Possible bailey to east of mound.

Associated Monuments

  • None
  • Associated Finds:

  • None
  • Description

    (1) Small motte 8ft [2m] high, oval in shape and roughly 48ft x 40ft [14.5m x 12m] across the top. Surrounded by ditch 25ft [7.25m] wide with a counterscarp of 6ft [2m]. Large pit dug into top of mound. Grass and trees. Ditch silted but still wet. Possible that a bailey was sited E of mound in low lying site but it is no longer clear how far it extended
    (2) Early Norman moated mound c.10' [3m] high. Tongue of land immediately east of mound is surrounded by water, including the feed-stream of the moat, and may have served as a rudimentary bailey. Mound probably built c.1071-84
    (4) Motte, but no evidence of bailey. Tongue of land to east is a natural feature isolated by 2 narrow streams.
    (5) Seat of Owen, military tenant of Abingdon Abbey from c.1070. Descendants, who took the surname Fitzharry, occupied the site till 1248. NB: See source 7 to look at paper.
    6) Transferred to Oxon History Centre.
    8) Given that the earthwork is small, situated in a stream valley, and in an uncommanding position, an alternative interpretation as a post medieval viewing mound has been proposed- associated with the grounds of the (now-demolished) Fitzharris manor house. Further documentary investigation is required.
    9) The OS 1:500 Abingdon town plan indicates a clear visual line between the mound and Fitzharris House. It also shows a formal arrangement of trees, including 2 rows which appear to create an avenue to the mound but also respect the mound, perhaps suggesting that the mound preceeded the landscaping.

    <1> English Heritage, Scheduled Ancient Monuments Record, SAM 222 (Scheduling record). SOX283.

    <2> Antiquaries Journal, Vol 14 (1934) pp.417-421 (Serial). SOX358.

    <3> OS Record Card, SU 49 NE 19 (Index). SOX273.

    <4> various, Primary Record Number cards, N V Quinnell (1963) (Unpublished note). SOX5264.

    <5> General reference, A E Preston: 'Fitzharris: An Old Abingdon Manor - in St Nicholas, Abingdon & other papers (1971) (Bibliographic reference). SOX373.

    <6> Additional Information in Detailed Record File, P S Spokes correspondence from 1950's relating to condition of site (Index). SOX258.

    <7> Berks Archaeological Journal, Vol 38, part 2 (1934) pp.167-170. (Serial). SOX390.

    <8> Local Informant as main provider of information, Roger Thomas, Abingdon (Verbal communication). SOX277.

    <9> Ordnance Survey, 1840-1900, 1:500 Town Plan series, Abingdon Town Plan (Map). SOX6171.


    <1>English Heritage. Scheduled Ancient Monuments Record. SAM 222. [Scheduling record / SOX283]
    <2>Antiquaries Journal. Vol 14 (1934) pp.417-421. [Serial / SOX358]
    <3>OS Record Card. SU 49 NE 19. [Index / SOX273]
    <4>various. Primary Record Number cards. N V Quinnell (1963). [Unpublished note / SOX5264]
    <5>General reference. A E Preston: 'Fitzharris: An Old Abingdon Manor - in St Nicholas, Abingdon & other papers (1971). [Bibliographic reference / SOX373]
    <6>Additional Information in Detailed Record File. P S Spokes correspondence from 1950's relating to condition of site. [Index / SOX258]
    <7>Berks Archaeological Journal. Vol 38, part 2 (1934) pp.167-170.. [Serial / SOX390]
    <8>Local Informant as main provider of information. Roger Thomas, Abingdon. [Verbal communication / SOX277]
    <9>XY>Ordnance Survey. 1840-1900. 1:500 Town Plan series. Abingdon Town Plan. [Mapped feature: #50410 Extent on late C19th OS Abingdon Town Plan, ] [Map / SOX6171]