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Bakewell Castle Hill

In the civil parish of Bakewell.
In the historic county of Derbyshire.
Modern Authority of Derbyshire.
1974 county of Derbyshire.
Medieval County of Derbyshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK22116878
Latitude 53.21563° Longitude -1.67031°

Bakewell Castle Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Castle Hill had been thought to be the site of the burh of Edward the Elder documented in 902. However, excavations between 1969 and 1971 found no evidence of occupation on the site prior to the Conquest. The site rather represents a motte and bailey, possibly with intermittent occupation. (PastScape)

Preliminary investigation by M. Swanton of the Castle Hill earthwork popularly identified with Edward the Elder's burh of 923 indicated a construction of two periods. Some time during the 12th century a 'motte' had been erected to strengthen a rubble rampart (probably square in plan) of earlier but undetermined date. (Med. Arch.)

Unusually in being some distance from the church and other side of river from village. It may be that the geographical restrictions limited the sites available for the castle for a lord without either the power of will to destroy houses in the village. The VCH suggests that the inhabitants of the village were mainly Danish. Therefore, the Saxon centre of administration might have developed after the village had been built and been pushed out to the edge, The motte is clearly Norman but I wonder if the site does occupy a small thegnal burh (of a sort not looked for by the earlier investigators. see also Bakewell Burh). (NB., since writing this early in 2010 I've read Davies-Pyrce's 1904 critic of Ella Armitage's work where he makes much the same point, although, I believe wrongly, attributing the motte to the Saxons. - Philip Davis 12-7-2010)
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:47

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