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Santon Broogh

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the parish of Santon.
On the Isle of Man.

OS Map Grid Reference: SC31717418
Latitude 54.13570° Longitude -4.57752°

Santon Broogh has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a archaeological monument protected by law.


The Broogh - about 200 yards west of Mount Murray. It is described asa simple Motte of Norman type, flat on the summit with surrounding ditch and two rings. The latter are being gradually erased by farming operations (Neely 1939).
A circular grass and fern covered motte type of earthwork situated beside a road and near a road junction. The flat top which now slopesdown fairly sharply to the north west has a diameter of 20.0m. It is surrounded in the south east by a strong ditch and bank with an outer ditch, all of which have been destroyed in the south west by a modern road boundary and in the northern half by the plough. The ditch is wide but traceable in part of this latter section. In the south east the fairly steep sided mound is 3.0m high with the ditch 3.5m wide and2.2m deep from the top of the outer bank. The outer bank is 3.0m wide to the bottom of the outer ditch is 1.1m high. The outer ditch is 2.0m wide.
There is no trace of any entrance, stonework or of a bailey. The monument is fenced off and a plaque indicates that it is a protected monument (F1 DE 28.09.55).
It may represent a development between the Celtic Round House and the Norman type Motte (Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments).
The Broogh Fort. A substantial circular earthwork resembling a Norman 'motte' or castle-mound of the 11th or 12th centuries, but of unknown date. The raised central platform (partly eroded), enclosed by concentric banks and ditches (partly destroyed), recalls some Celtic round houses (Anc & Hist Mons of I of Man 1967). (PastScape)

Access from B37 Clanna Road. Turn left 0.5km from Newtown, follow minor road (Mullinaragher Road) for 0.6km to second T-junction and turn right. Park on road. Entrance to site immediately on right. If this site was in England, it would be classed as a Norman motte. These artificial defensive mounds were built in great profusion by the Normans during the 11th and 12th centuries, but such sites are in contrast extremely rare in the Isle of Man, and more usually adapt or make use of an existing topographic feature rather than being a wholly artificial mound. The name is derived from the Manx word meaning a steep slope or cliff, and aptly describes the artificially steep sides of the mound which is the chief feature of this site. The mound is only about 3m higher than the surrounding groundlevel, and its flat top is about 20m across. It is surrounded by a ditch and bank which are most obvious on the south-east side and have been destroyed by the road to the south-west. Waterlogged ground to the north ensures that the base of the ditch is always wet. The site has never been investigated: no evidence has been found to show what may have been constructed on top of the artificial mound, and no artefacts have been found that might answer the question of its age. It may be significant that the Broogh Fort lies a short distance inland of several coastal defensive sites, and may have served as a strongpoint to which local people could have retreated under attack. (Manx National Heritage)

Low motte, marshy site; double ditches on approachable side. (King 1983)

Comments (by Philip Davis)

King suggests this as a possible location of one of the timber fortification built by Magnus Barefoot c. 1100.
The Isle of Man is an area of dispersed settlement. The site is near a crossroad of minor roads in area of lower land between Castletown and Douglas and certainly could be the site of a medieval manor house although such topographical arguments apply equally to a Celtic round house.
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This record last updated on Tuesday, April 18, 2017