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Brimpsfield; The Rookery

In the civil parish of Brimpsfield.
In the historic county of Gloucestershire.
Modern Authority of Gloucestershire.
1974 county of Gloucestershire.
Medieval County of Gloucestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO94601275
Latitude 51.81347° Longitude -2.07959°

Brimpsfield; The Rookery has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a Masonry Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Brimpsfield castle mound measures about 130 ft by 85 ft. The height of the mound and the depth of the surrounding moat are about the same as those of the Bagpath Castle mound (Lindley 1958), (4 ft above ground level and 5 ft deep respectively) (Lindley 1954). There are irregularities suggesting former works (Lindley 1958) and signs of masonry on the north side (Annotated Record Map Rec 6" (O G S Crawford 12.12.20)). The mound was probably built as a defence during the Conquest, pending the construction of Brimpsfield castle (SO 91 SW 13) (Lindley 1958).
The castle was probably a "Motte and Fosse" with a wooden tower. The steep bank above the brook serves as a natural defence on one side; on the other it is piled up artifically and defended by a fairly deep ditch or dry moat (Butler 1959).
The mound averages 2.5m high with a surrounding ditch 1.0m to 1.5m deep. There may have been a masonry structure on top of the footings now concealed, but there has been random digging giving a general uneven surface (Field Investigators Comments F1 NVQ 12-MAY-72). (PastScape)

The theory put forward that this was the precursor castle to Brimpsfield Castle is unsupported. In fact Brimpsfield Castle, a ringwork and beside the church, may well be an earlier site. Brimpsfield Castle was a major high status house well into the C14 and was set within a high status landscape. This is an mound with no bailey and may well represent a feature of the hunting park in which it is located, either a hunting or foresters lodge or a vista structure. The site has not been excavated, there is no dating evidence from finds. This may even be a collapsed masonry structure and not a motte at all although the site was moated. Pending further investigation recorded as a 'possible' motte because of the scheduling report but is not likely to have been a castle site with masonry.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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