GATEHOUSE
The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
 
 
Home
The listings
Other Info
Books
Links
Downloads
Contact
 
Print Page 
 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Lamerton motte and bailey

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Sydenham Damerel.
In the historic county of Devonshire.
Modern Authority of Devon.
1974 county of Devon.
Medieval County of Devon.

OS Map Grid Reference: SX40087396
Latitude 50.54348° Longitude -4.25838°

Lamerton motte and bailey has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

Description

Flat topped mound of clay and shillet situated at most constricted point of a ridge enclosed by loop in River Tamar. A strategic location overlooking the road leading to the lowest fordable point on the Tamar. Old field names, Great Castle, Little Castle and Castle Park, suggest that this was the site of a motte and bailey, probably of short duration. (Devon and Dartmoor HER)

At SX 40107394, the most constricted part of a ridge-backed spur about a mile long, which extends to the S.W. and is enclosed by a loop in the River Tamar. Steep sided, the spur makes a gentle descent from about 90m. O.D. to the river and a spinal road leads to Latchley Ford, the lowest fordable point on the Tamar that is still in use. A flat topped mound of clay with shillet has been constructed on the N.W. extremity of the ridge so that part is on level ground and part overspreads the slope to the Rivar Tamar. Overall it measures 26.5m. by 30m., and the top is 15m. by 18m. across; in both cases the elongation is N.W. to S.E. i.e. extended along the slope. On the S.E. it is 1.7m. high and on the N.W. 3.9 m. high. The sides have been mutilated and the perimeter of the top trampled by cattle, distorting the original circular plan. Traces of a ditch, 5m. wide and 0.2m. deep, can be detected only round part of the N. side, and for a few metres on the S. In 1950 the local farmer considered the mound to be material from Lamerhooe Drive, a carriageway alongside the Tamar, built by a Duke of Bedford. The present farmer was told that it was mining waste. Neither theory is tenable. Lamerhooe Drive was made after 1882: it does not appear on the 1st Edn. O.S. 6" of that date but the mound is depicted as a circular patch of rough pasture. In the second instance there is no mining within a half mile, no evidence of rocks that would indicate mining waste, and the neatness of construction does not accord with casual dumping. The field in which the mound stands is now called Castle Park, but reference to the Lamerton Tithe Map of 1840 shows the field oddly sub-divided. A semi-circular field, about 90m. across, encloses the mound and an area 70m. by 30 m. which is banded off and described as 'waste'. The field is called Great Castle. Immediately to the N.E. is a small plot called Little Castle. Castle Park is to the S.W. of Great Castle and separated from it by two curvilinear and parallel hedges about 3m. apart through which an ungated track or path runs to give access to a large and steep field over-looking the Tamar. The E. boundary of Great Castle exists today as a hedgebank of earth and shillet 1.7m. high and up to 2.0m. thick, forming the outer edge of a parallel curved platform, between 2m. and 3m. wide and 0.5m. high. At the northern end a faint rise in the pasture field suggests that the platform once curved sharply westwards towards the mound. The hedgebank at this point angles to the N.N.E. and is narrower than previously, where the impression is that it was cut back from a larger pre-existing structure and given some stone-facing or revetting. There are no vestiges of a ditch in the arable field on the outer face of the bank. Corresponding very approximately to the former western boundary of Great Castle, a ditch, about 13m. wide and 0.2m. deep, can be traced for 45m., the inner face appearing to curve towards the mound at the northern end. The field names evidently perpetuate the tradition of some form of fortification and it seems probable that the mound represents a motte with the possibility of a small bailey. The entrance would presumably have been on the S. side adjacent to the ridgeway road. Strategically it is well placed, occupying the entire width of the ridgetop at this point except for the route it controlled. The lack of any documentary supporting evidence save the field names may indicate a minor fortification of brief duration as might occur during the period of the Anarchy. Mound; fir planted, but condition fair; possible bailey earthworks so ploughed down or destroyed as to be only just perceptible. No finds were made. Surveyed at 1/1250 & 1/2500. 'Lamerhooe' is a 19th century variation of 'Lamerow' which name occurs on the 1st Edn. 1", 1809. (PastScape–ref. Field Investigators Comments F2 MJF 12-NOV-83)
Comments

Marked on the OS map as a motte and bailey but missing from all the usually authorities. The location, at the neck of a large meander in the Tamar, is not unlikely for a castle. Is the farm called Lamerhooe the site of a DMV? There was a C17 fulling and corn mill nearby on the Tamar and presumably a mill in the C11 so a community to service a castle here is not impossible although the nearest church is 2km to the north.
What is the reason for this site being missed. Recent identification? Overlooked, perhaps because on county boundary and falling between county surveys? Or was it known and dismissed by King and Higham. The anarchy date can probably be dismissed and, if a castle probably most likely post-Conquest C11.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LIDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
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.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated before 1 February 2016

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact
¤¤¤¤¤