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HER Number: 1816
Record Type: Monument
Name: Site of Banbury Castle

Grid Reference: SP 456 408
Parish:BANBURY, CHERWELL, OXFORDSHIRE

Monument Type(s):

  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Summary

Built by Alexander Bishop of Lincoln, who died in 1148. It stood on the north side of the Market Place and was destroyed after the Civil War in the C17. It was surrounded by an inner and an outer moat, nothing of which remains today.

Associated Monuments

  • None
  • Associated Finds:

  • FOX1897 - COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FOX1898 - SHERD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • Description

    (1) Built by Alexander Bishop of Lincoln, who died in 1148. It stood on the north side of the Market Place and was destroyed after the Civil War in the C17th. It was surounded by an inner and an outer moat, nothing of which remains today although the castle mound is still apparent (mound found to be later than castle date)
    (2) Site partially excavated by P Fasham for a period of one month in April 1972. A quantity of medieval pottery (C12th calcite gritted ware) and coins were retrieved
    (3) A watching brief on the castle site during building operations (SW corner of outer defences) did not reveal any further medieval finds
    (4) Excavation in 1972 on the site of the inner bailey revealed a sequence of features starting in the C11th and continuing until the C17th. The castle was completely rebuilt and re-designed in the C13th after which six periods of building activity were identified
    (5) Site classified as enclosure castle for MPP (see Rodwell article for details, pp.116-118)
    (6) Excavations in 1973-4 north of the Market Place revealed 3 main periods of the castle's development. A buried soil survived across almost the entire site under the earliest phases. Finds did not suggest pre-castle occupation on the site
    (9) No evidence of buildings in trench from Bridge Street to Castle Street. Entrance to wharf 20 yards from Factory Street found a black layer with skeleton on top. Near Bridge Street there were pits containing cow bones - possible slaughter house
    (10) P Fasham of OCCM excavated at several sites: (a) between Castle Street and Castle Gardens car park (SP 5475 4079). Late Saxon material was found. C12th stone buildings in Central Ward were demolished and buried by gravel c.1300. Above this were 5 phases of stone and timber buildings (b) Factory Street (SP 4572 4069) part of a C12th earthen bank (?the barbican) was found and (c) Castle Street (SP 4565 4077) 3 large ditches, varying from 8-15m in width and all at least 4m deep were observed
    (11) OAU excavated SW 1/3 of castle; 2 main periods of development revealed. Castle was built on land in open country in C12th; it was of stone, rectangular and well-preserved with garderobe within. Parts of 2 defensive ditches, curtain wall and main gate were excavated
    (12) Work on Bus Station and Castle Street widening yielded no information about the castle
    15) Clippings removed to be archived at Oxfordshire history Centre. D Pinches 19/02/13
    (21) Watching brief caried out during the excavation of Geotechnical test pits and bore holes in advance of the Banbury Town Centre Development. Results highlighted a number of areas of archaeological potential within the proposed development area
    (22) Results of 10 yr programme involving multiple techniques over 13.44 ha area. Also includes 1970s work done in Castle area. Encompasses Castle Precinct, Bridge Street/Mill Lane Landscape, and River and Canalside Waterfronts
    (24) Revealed in sewer trench in Castle Street in 1972 were three large ditches, varying in width between 8m and 15m and all at least 4m deep from present ground surface, belonging to the W defences of the castle. The nature of the machine excavations did not allow for their satisfactory recording
    (25) Structures within the outer bailey were examined in 1973 and both inner and outer defensive ditches were located, both of which were about 17m wide and conformed to the concentric plan suggested by the street pattern and an estate map of 1685. The site did not appear to have been intensively occupied before construction of the castle. A buried soil containing sporadic RB sherds and worked flints was the earliest layer encountered. In the outer bailey a rectangular stone building 6m wide and 4m long was discovered but no dating evidence


    <1> General reference, W Potts: History of Banbury (1958) p.18 (Bibliographic reference). SOX373.


    <1a> OS Record Card, SP 44 SE 11 (Index). SOX273.


    <2> Cake & Cockhorse, (Summer 1972) p.48. (Serial). SOX576.


    <3> CBA South Midlands Group, South Midlands Archaeology, CBA9 NL 13 (1983) p.115. (Serial). SOX5.


    <4> Oxford Architectural & Historical Society, Oxoniensia, Vol XLVIII (1983) pp.71-118; Vol XXXVIII (1973) pp.312-338; vol 41 (1976), pp 90-147 (Serial). SOX284.


    <5> General reference, S Lisk, 23.11.92 (Bibliographic reference). SOX373.


    <6> CBA South Midlands Group, South Midlands Archaeology, CBA9 NL 5 (1975) pp.42-3 (Serial). SOX5.


    <7> Victoria County History of Oxford, Vol X (1972) pp.38-42 for history of castle buildings (Serial). SOX252.


    <8> Cake & Cockhorse, Vol I, No 5 (1960) pp.52-7 (Serial). SOX576.


    <9> Cake & Cockhorse, Vol 2, No 10 (1964) p.157 (Serial). SOX576.


    <10> Medieval Archaeology, Vol 17 (1973) p.163; see also CBA9 NL 3 (1973) p.28 (Serial). SOX318.


    <11> Medieval Archaeology, Vol 19 (1975) p.239; Vol XVIII (1974) p.196. See DRF (Serial). SOX318.


    <12> Cake & Cockhorse, (November 1964) p.176. (Serial). SOX576.


    <13> Local Informant as main provider of information, Banbury Town Centre file in DC section (Verbal communication). SOX277.


    <14> Cake & Cockhorse, (Summer 1973) pp.109-116. (Serial). SOX576.


    <16> Photographic Archive, 29 (on sheets) of 1972 excavation. Xerox copies in DRF (Photograph). SOX304.


    <17> Slide Cabinet, 1 of 1973 excavation (Photograph). SOX303.


    <19> Black and White print photographs, 3 of coins found during excavations (undated but probably 1972) (Photograph). SOX315.


    <20> OCAS, from 2004, Digital Photographs (Digital archive). SOX694.


    <21> Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit, 1995, Banbury Town Centre Redevelopment Scheme: An Archaeological Watching Brief 1995 (Unpublished document). SOX1761.


    <22> Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit, 1999, Banbury Town Centre Redevelopment Project - Post-ex assessment (Unpublished document). SOX818.


    <23> NMR Monument - Long Listing Filed in Detailed Record File, see DRF (Index). SOX391.


    <24> CBA South Midlands Group, South Midlands Archaeology, CBA9 NL 3 (1973) p.28 (Serial). SOX5.


    <25> CBA South Midlands Group, South Midlands Archaeology, CBA9 NL 4 (1974) p.21 (Serial). SOX5.


    <26> OAU Newsletter, Vol IX No 2 April 1982 p.1; Vol IX No 1 February 1982 p.2 (Article in serial). SOX270.


    <27> NMR Monument - Long Listing Filed in Detailed Record File, SP 44 SE 11 (Index). SOX391.

    Sources

    <1a>OS Record Card. SP 44 SE 11. [Index / SOX273]
    <1>General reference. W Potts: History of Banbury (1958) p.18. [Bibliographic reference / SOX373]
    <2>Cake & Cockhorse. (Summer 1972) p.48.. [Serial / SOX576]
    <3>CBA South Midlands Group. South Midlands Archaeology. CBA9 NL 13 (1983) p.115.. [Serial / SOX5]
    <4>Oxford Architectural & Historical Society. Oxoniensia. Vol XLVIII (1983) pp.71-118; Vol XXXVIII (1973) pp.312-338; vol 41 (1976), pp 90-147. [Serial / SOX284]
    <5>General reference. S Lisk, 23.11.92. [Bibliographic reference / SOX373]
    <6>CBA South Midlands Group. South Midlands Archaeology. CBA9 NL 5 (1975) pp.42-3. [Serial / SOX5]
    <7>Victoria County History of Oxford. Vol X (1972) pp.38-42 for history of castle buildings. [Serial / SOX252]
    <8>Cake & Cockhorse. Vol I, No 5 (1960) pp.52-7. [Serial / SOX576]
    <9>Cake & Cockhorse. Vol 2, No 10 (1964) p.157. [Serial / SOX576]
    <10>Medieval Archaeology. Vol 17 (1973) p.163; see also CBA9 NL 3 (1973) p.28. [Serial / SOX318]
    <11>Medieval Archaeology. Vol 19 (1975) p.239; Vol XVIII (1974) p.196. See DRF. [Serial / SOX318]
    <12>Cake & Cockhorse. (November 1964) p.176.. [Serial / SOX576]
    <13>Local Informant as main provider of information. Banbury Town Centre file in DC section. [Verbal communication / SOX277]
    <14>Cake & Cockhorse. (Summer 1973) pp.109-116.. [Serial / SOX576]
    <16>Photographic Archive. 29 (on sheets) of 1972 excavation. Xerox copies in DRF. [Photograph / SOX304]
    <17>Slide Cabinet. 1 of 1973 excavation. [Photograph / SOX303]
    <19>Black and White print photographs. 3 of coins found during excavations (undated but probably 1972). [Photograph / SOX315]
    <20>OCAS. from 2004. Digital Photographs. [Digital archive / SOX694]
    <21>Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit. 1995. Banbury Town Centre Redevelopment Scheme: An Archaeological Watching Brief 1995. [Unpublished document / SOX1761]
    <22>Birmingham University Field Archaeology Unit. 1999. Banbury Town Centre Redevelopment Project - Post-ex assessment. [Unpublished document / SOX818]
    <23>NMR Monument - Long Listing Filed in Detailed Record File. see DRF. [Index / SOX391]
    <24>CBA South Midlands Group. South Midlands Archaeology. CBA9 NL 3 (1973) p.28. [Serial / SOX5]
    <25>CBA South Midlands Group. South Midlands Archaeology. CBA9 NL 4 (1974) p.21. [Serial / SOX5]
    <26>OAU Newsletter. Vol IX No 2 April 1982 p.1; Vol IX No 1 February 1982 p.2. [Article in serial / SOX270]
    <27>NMR Monument - Long Listing Filed in Detailed Record File. SP 44 SE 11. [Index / SOX391]