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Fillongley Castle Yard

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Filungeleye

In the civil parish of Fillongley.
In the historic county of Warwickshire.
Modern Authority of Warwickshire.
1974 county of Warwickshire.
Medieval County of Warwickshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP27988682
Latitude 52.47851° Longitude -1.58956°

Fillongley Castle Yard has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

Castle Yard survives well and is one of only two known examples of this class of monument {ringwork} in Warwickshire. The foundations of medieval structures will survive as buried features within both the ringwork and the bailey, while the accumulated fill of the ringwork and bailey ditches will retain information valuable for an understanding of the environment and economy of the site's inhabitants. Additionally, the buried land surface beneath the ringwork enclosure will retain environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which Castle Yard was constructed.
The monument is situated approximately 80m south west of Castle Farm on the southern outskirts of the village of Fillongley. It includes the masonry and earthwork remains of Castle Yard, a ringwork castle and its associated bailey. The site occupies an area of approximately 2ha and has been constructed on an area of land which is defined by two stream channels. The stream to the north of the ringwork flows west-east and forms the northern boundary to the site, whilst the second stream, situated in the eastern part of the site, flows from east to north. A third stream channel runs through the central part of the site and flows northwards into the stream defining the site's northern edge. The streams are thought to have been diverted at the time of the castle's construction in order to form its southern outer defences. They also provided the water supply for the inner defensive ditches. The ringwork itself, is situated in the western part of the site and is surrounded by a 12m wide ditch which, with the exception of its waterlogged northern section, is mostly dry. The water supply for the ditch originally entered from the west and the south. An external rampart is visible beyond the western, northern and southern sides of the ditch. The ringwork has a roughly circular plan and has been artificially raised above the surrounding ground surface. Traces of an inner bank are visible along the north eastern and western sides of the ringwork enclosure; this bank is thought to have been present originally on all sides. Access into the ringwork is thought to have been by means of a causeway across the eastern section of its enclosing ditch. The ringwork enclosure itself has an uneven surface, indicating the survival of buried features beneath the ground surface. In the north eastern part of the ringwork a large block of in situ masonry is visible standing to a height of c.1.9m. It is built of local sandstone and represents a rectangular building. The remains of a circular staircase, situated adjacent to the block of standing masonry, have been uncovered in the past though they now lie buried beneath the ground surface. Fragments of masonry are also visible in the north eastern parts of the enclosure. To the north east, east and south east of the ringwork is a polygonal-shaped bailey. It is bounded along its north western side by the northern stream channel, and to the east and south, by a 6m wide ditch; the ringwork ditch defines the bailey's western side. The north eastern section of the bailey ditch has been infilled and is no longer visible on the ground surface. It is thought to have connected with the northern stream channel and will survive as a buried feature. A stream channel now flows north/south through the central part of the bailey. A dry, 10m wide channel, aligned south west-north east, is visible in the northern part of the bailey. This feature is thought to be original and divides the bailey into two courts. Castle Yard was occupied by the Hastings family from the early 12th century and the site became their chief residence in Warwickshire. The last of the Hastings line died in 1389 and the site became part of the Bergavenny baronry which was held by the Beauchamps and the Nevilles. Castle Yard is thought to have been abandoned during the late 14th or early 15th century. (Scheduling Report)

Earthworks on a site known as the 'Castle Yard' comprising a low mount (or keep) with a courtyard to the S; the whole being surrounded by a moat. On the S of the 'court' are the remains of a rampart, and on the summit of the mount are masonry fragments. The Castle was occupied by the Hastings family in the reign of Henry I and afterwards became their chief residence in Warwickshire. Banks and ditches are well marked. More or less in the centre is a patch of higher ground on which is a block of masonry about 2.6 by 1.96m standing about 1.96m out of the ground. This was obviously the corner of a rectangular building. Against this but under the ground remains of a circular staircase have been found. Other traces of fallen masonry are scattered about. To the NE is a triangular area, with a ditch, probably the moat proper. Traces of paving and a well have been found. (Warwickshire HER)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1301 Feb 2 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

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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.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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