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Haresfield Mount

In the civil parish of Haresfield.
In the historic county of Gloucestershire.
Modern Authority of Gloucestershire.
1974 county of Gloucestershire.
Medieval County of Gloucestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO81011050
Latitude 51.79282° Longitude -2.27657°

Haresfield Mount has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The Mount moated site survives well and is unencumbered by later buildings. Buried deposits on the island are likely to include the remains of medieval structures, and will contain archaeological information relating to the construction and subsequent occupation and use of the moated site. Within the moat, waterlogged deposits will have preserved archaeological remains relating to the occupation and use of the site, along with organic material which will provide information about the economy of the site and the local environment during the medieval period. The moated site lies close to the village church of St Peter's and the large number of footpaths converging on this area suggests the importance of the monument in the medieval period.
The monument includes a moated site, known as The Mount, set on low-lying ground in the Severn Vale. It is visible as a square moat enclosing an island measuring 50m by 48m and orientated north east-south west. The moat varies from approximately 10m to 16m wide and 3m to 4m deep to the surface of the water. The surface of the island is raised about 1.5m above the level of the ground outside the moat and a building platform, about 36m square and 0.5m high, is visible on the island. Between the platform and the inside edge of the moat on all four sides is a slight ditch and bank which is included in the scheduling. The moat narrows slightly in the north west corner. The south west corner of the moated site is abutted by the gateway into the churchyard and may have been the original access to the moat island. The Mount is believed to have been the site of the manor house of the manor of Haresfield, held after the Norman Conquest by Durand, sheriff of Gloucester, and later by the de Bohun family. Although it is not known precisely when The Mount was constructed, a house called 'The Mount' was assessed at eight hearths in 1672 and in 1680 was described as 'adjoining the great old stone house and shooting towards the moat'. (Scheduling Report)

The earthworks at Haresfield consist of a mound standing nearly 10ft above ground level surrounded by a ditch 18ft wide and 9ft deep. In the centre of the mound is a level platform about 35 yds square and 2.5ft high, and between this and the moat, running parallel to the latter, is a slight ditch and bank, probably originally surmounted by a stockade (Witts 1883).
Fosbrooke states that the de Bohun's had a castle at Haresfield but this has been ignored or denied by other writers who have erroneously placed the castle at Harescombe (see SO 81 SW 4). "The Mount", Haresfield is undoubtedly a castle mound. The mound is now little more than 1.0m. above the surrounding fields but it has evidently been truncated and ornamented in modern times. The small bank and ditch mentioned by Witts is part of this. The surrounding waterfilled ditch narrows at the NW part where a modern footbridge may be on the site of the original entranceway.
The de Bohuns were at Haresfield from soon after the conquest until 1373 and there is a C14th effigy of one in Haresfield church. (Fosbrooke)
The Mount is apparently the site of the medieval moated manor-house of the manor of Haresfield, held after the Conquest by Durand, Sheriff of Gloucester, and later by the de Bohuns (VCH). (PastScape)

Scheduled as a 'moated site' but clearly a low platform type motte in original form, although the later buildings on the site will have changed the form of the mound. The name suggests in may have been higher than its current 1m in earlier periods, although it should be noted that David King expressed the opinion that the most common form of motte was the relatively low building platform type rather than the high (>5m) conical type motte normally illustrated in textbooks. Although described as a 'square' moat in the scheduling report this is a square, with markedly curved sides, looking almost circular on the air photograph. Was this the original form or has an attempt been made to recut a circular moat into a, more fashionable, square moat?
See also Harescombe Castle a site with which historic record to this site has been confused.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

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