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The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
 
 
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Ramsbury 'Castle'

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Ramsbury.
In the historic county of Wiltshire.
Modern Authority of Wiltshire.
1974 county of Wiltshire.
Medieval County of Wiltshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU273716
Latitude 51.44250° Longitude -1.60850°

Ramsbury 'Castle' has been described as a probable Palace.

There are no visible remains.

Description

In the early to mid 12th century the Bishops of Salisbury moved their Ramsbury residence to the well-documented site at Ramsbury Manor Park. Prior to that time it is thought that the episcopal residence was located within the settlement, adjacent to the cathedral (Crowley 1983), although there is as yet no archaeological evidence to confirm this. A possible site for this component may lie to the west of the present churchyard, between the church and what is now Burdett Street. Burdett Street was known in the Medieval period as Castle Wall or Castle Street (ibid.), and in this context 'castle', rather than denoting a defensive stronghold, may be derived from the Latin castrum or Old English caester or ceaster, denoting an early political centre or seat of administrative power (Darvill, T.C. 1992. Monuments Protection Programme, Monument evaluation manual, part IV – urban areas, Vol. 2: urban area form descriptions (English Heritage, London)). This theory, based solely on place-name evidence, requires archaeological research to determine the true nature of the site. (Mcmahon p. 11)

If the bishops of Ramsbury had a house near their cathedral in the 11th century it may have been in the village rather than on the site 2 km. east on which the bishops of Salisbury had a palace. The medieval street names Castle Wall, afterwards Whitehouse Lane and Burdett Street, and Old Garden, later Old Orchard and Free Orchard, and the shape of the village, in which the church and vicarage house are within an ellipse, formed by High Street and Back Lane and crossed by Burdett Street, and most settlement is on the periphery, may be evidence of such a house. The names and the shape, however, could be attributed to factors other than the existence of a large house. (VCH 1983)
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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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