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Bourne Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Brune; Brun; Brunne

In the civil parish of Bourne.
In the historic county of Lincolnshire.
Modern Authority of Lincolnshire.
1974 county of Lincolnshire.
Medieval County of Lincolnshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TF09441990
Latitude 52.76562° Longitude -0.37944°

Bourne Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Medieval motte and double bailey castle, traces of the enclosed mound and inner and outer moats are all that now survive. The Norman castle built by Baldwin FitzGilbert was reputed to stand on the same site as the Saxon Manor which was the home of Hereward the Wake. This was destroyed after being used by Cromwell's troops in 1645 and a farmhouse was built on the site.

This castle lying in low easily flooded country is in reality a large moated site. There are two enclosures both rectangular in shape; the easterly one has been almost flattened by cultivation but there is the remains of a motte on the south side. The western enclosure is a pure rectangle and the banks on its west side are 15-20 feet in height. An interesting type of earthwork; reputed to be pre-Norman but there is no evidence of this on the ground. Size consists of two roughly rectangular enclosures separated by a circular pond. The westerly one is the better preserved with an impressive bank standing 5-6m high and c12-15m across on the west side. On the south the bank is lower and there is a gap of c15m. Beyond there is to the south a further bank visible at the field edge. The area between these two is very marshy. The east bank is also lower and has very marshy ground beyond it towards the pond. The north side is fairly level and obviously affected by footpath. Eastern earthwork has been affected by cultivation. Some banks visible standing to 1m high on the west side. Towards the east edge is an irregularly shaped mound with a fairly level top and fairly vertical sides. The site is in good condition with fairly short grass and only a little erosion was noted on the banks. Although landscaping for the park has removed or hidden some of the monument's features, the main details can still be clearly seen. There is an irregularly shaped motte 1.2-2.7m high with traces of a surrounding ditch. Beyond this to the north are traces of fishponds. An outer bailey to the west is partly hidden by a large pond but the surrounding banks can be traced for much of the way. Bourne was held by Morcar, Earl of the Northumbrians, and in 1086 by the Norman Oger. (Lincolnshire HER referencing schedulings records and OS report)

During a watching brief at Bourne Castle a number of medieval features were recorded. Four medieval walls, a possible rampart, a moat and a second possible moat or pond were discovered. Pottery sherds dating from 10th-12th century through to 16th-17th centuries were all recovered together with some medieval but mainly post medieval tile and other post medieval building materials. The walls are located in the north-east corner of the bailey suggesting that there was an open space, possible a courtyard in the centre. The deposits recorded during this watching brief seem to indicate widespread demolition of the castle, tentatively dated to the 16th-17th centuries. (Lincolnshire HER referencing 2002 Archaeological Project Services reports)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:49

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