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Weston Turville; The Mount

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
West Turville; Weston Molyns; Manor House

In the civil parish of Weston Turville.
In the historic county of Buckinghamshire.
Modern Authority of Buckinghamshire.
1974 county of Buckinghamshire.
Medieval County of Buckinghamshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP859104
Latitude 51.78609° Longitude -0.75609°

Weston Turville; The Mount has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.

Description

Motte and twin baileys. The works apparently consisted of a motte with surrounding ditch and a bailey to the south of the motte; of a second bailey on the east, only a part of the ditch remains. Renn found a fragment of Saxo-Norman pottery here and gave it to Aylesbury Museum. There are two references to a castle here in C12, one to its slighting in 1173-4. The motte is 60m in diameter and 5m high, with a ditch 2.4m deep around the east arc. The southern bailey is 80m by 70m and is enclosed by a ditch 1.8m deep. The eastern bailey is 80m by 50 and is defended by a ditch, 2m in maximum depth, with an inner bank, now 0.5m high. (PastScape)

The motte was dismantled on the orders of Henry II in 1173. (PastScape ref. King)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1333 Jan 23 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

The order to 'dismantle' the motte in 1173 does not mean this site did not continue to be the manorial centre or a lordly residence, although the house and offices are likely to have been buildings within the baileys rather than anything on the motte. It is likely this is the site for for which a licence to crenellate was granted in 1334 to John de Moleyns and his wife. It is unlikely that the motte or even the bailey was refortified at this time, although some rebuilding of the house by the wealthy Treasurer of England is entirely possible. An early C18 manor house sits in the bailey of the castle and this may well be the site of Molyns house.
The agreement between Geoffrey de Turville and John of the Lee (see Jenkins, 1938) where Geoffrey gave John one hide of demense land for service of castle guard at Weston is an exceptionally rare document. This seems to date from the 1140's and may represent social climbing by both men during a period of central government instability. Was the action taken in 1173 one designed to put Geoffrey back into his proper place?
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LIDAR   Open Domesday  
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Photos >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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