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Hawes Bridge

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bodelford; Bothelford

In the civil parish of Natland.
In the historic county of Westmorland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Westmorland.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD513892
Latitude 54.29489° Longitude -2.75215°

Hawes Bridge has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


SD 513892 Hawes Bridge, Natland. An obviously man-adapted motte-type mound is located above the river at Hawes Bridge. This may also possibly be the site of Bothelford DMV. (Higham).
While Higham identifies the Bodelford site at Hawes Bridge with a 'man-adapted earth-type mound' on the bridging point of the Kent River downstream from the Roman fort at Watercrook, Marsh argues that the site is unsuitable for a motte, and the mound probably represents canal workings. 'Bodelford name is early and likely to refer to the village of the Roman Fort by the ford. A Roman road crosses there.' (Perriam and Robinson). (PastScape)

Situated about two miles West of Kendal on Hawes Lane just outside Natland, Hawes Bridge Motte is mostly hidden from view from the road. The earthwork remains sit just above the river Kent, appearing to defend the river crossing. The motte stands in an area generally thought to contain the remains of a deserted medieval settlement called Bothelford, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book.
The remains stand to around six metres high and would have afforded a good view of the river crossing and the surrounding country side. There do not appear to be any remains of banks and\or ditches. There is a question hanging over the validity of this motte, in that it's very near to the route of the Lancaster to Kendal canal, so there is every possibility that it's actually a spoil heap. Still the location looks good for a defensive site at the river crossing, and so near to the possibly deserted village. (Matthew Emmott 2007)

The Roman fort is at NY513906. Higham suggested several 'new' mottes in her 1991 paper many of which where suspect, including this one. However, there is nothing intrinsically unsuitable for the location as a small 'toll' point post - which was the bases of Higham's argument. The mound appears to be the other side of the river from the canal which lowers the chances it represents some canal workings but there were quarries and even a gunpowder works in the local area so may represent spoil from those or, in this area with many glacial features, just be natural.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:30

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