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Maldon Mountfield mound

In the civil parish of Maldon.
In the historic county of Essex.
Modern Authority of Essex.
1974 county of Essex.
Medieval County of Essex.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL83830723
Latitude 51.73369° Longitude 0.66090°

Maldon Mountfield mound has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

Description

Maldon. A tumulus situated in Mountfield is described by Mr. E. A. Fitch, who says it is ' doubtless Saxon or Danish, and stands in a commanding position between the Saxon camp at Maldon, and within sight of the Danish camp and settlement at Danbury (Danes' town) ; it is probably contemporaneous with these and with Purleigh Mount.' Other tumuli which existed in this part of the county have been ruthlessly destroyed, though traces of some are indicated on the 25-inch Ordnance Survey map while one on Northey Island in the parish of St. Mary, Maldon, remains intact. (Gould, 1903)

Bowl barrow, approximate diameter 36.0 metres and 1.2 metres high. Under plough; no trace of ditch. The barrow was deep ploughed in 1964 and many flints were brought to the surface, indicating a stone-built cairn in the centre. A few pieces of Late Bronze Age, Early Iron Age and Roman pottery were also found. A protection order has been placed on the site. Crop marks seen from the ground, may indicate three more barrows and rectangular enclosure. Excavated 1966 by Ian Robertson. Results inconclusive. A mound consisting of layers of clay with late Medieval green glazed ware just under the surface. No evidence to support the classification as a barrow; thought to be a mill mound. (Excavation report unlikely to be published) The mound lies in an exposed position on a north slope. It has been spread by ploughing and now measures about 30.0m in diameter and 0.8m high, without trace of a ditch. The classification (as mill mound) appears to be correct though no mill is shown by Chapman and Andre. No ground evidence of further features was seen in the surrounding field. (PastScape)
Comments

A fine example of how difficult it can be to classify mounds and how much relies on the perspective of the individual investigator. Barrows were built on visible hilltops to show the status of the site and the person buried, but windmills were also built on hilltops to catch the wind. Some mottes were also built on high land either for defensive reasons or for status display depending on your view of the motivation of castle builders.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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