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Ruardean Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SO61981782
Latitude 51.85767° Longitude -2.55345°

Ruardean Castle has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Site of a fortified manor house, granted a licence to crenellate in 1310 (previously also probably incorrectly rendered as 1403 in one section of an older source). The licence was granted to a cleric named Alexandre de Bykenore. The surviving evidence suggests the site comprised a courtyard, flanked by short ranges of buildings to the north east and south west, with a tower in the western corner. A gatehouse stood to the south east, with a hollow way leading from it towards the parish church. The site was probably enclosed by a curtain wall and is thought to date from the 13th century. The fallen masonry and earthwork remains of this site were mapped from aerial photographs. (PastScape)

(SO 620178). A Norman-type earthen castle lies in the field NW of the church, with a stone-built keep of circa 13th century, and a manor house extended in the 14th century. There are slight remains of a stone - built tower, and strengthened and crenellated mansion occupied successively by the Albamaras, Hatheways and Bickenores (Hart 1967).
Structural remains and earthworks of a fortified manor house are situated upon the end of a short NW pasture-covered spur between the heads of two valleys. Ground evidence in the form of turf-covered tumbled masonry and buried foundations indicates a courtyard 20.0m square flanked on the NE and SW by short ranges of buildings with a strongly built tower of the W corner, circular externally, octagonal internally, of which the rear wall, 2.5m thick, remains standing to a height of 2.5m. Carved stonework dates it to the 13th century. On the SE side of the courtyard are the tumbled remains of a gate house, with twin buildings flanking the entrance, from which a faint hollow-way leads SE along the spur towards the parish church. The buildings were probably enclosed with a stone curtain wall, the foundations of which are exposed for 6.0m adjoining the SE side of the tower and the course of which can be traced elsewhere in the turf. The site stands upon a levelled platform bounded by an artificially steepened scarp which increases with the natural slope of the top of the spur, from 1.0m at the gatehouse to over 3.0m below the tower. Above this scarp on the NW side is a short length of earthen rampart, 6.0m wide and 1.3m high. At a lower level, around the end of the spur, is an outwork comprising a short, artificially steepened scarp 1.0m high, above a silted up ditch, now appearing as a 2.0m wide terrace, from which steep natural slopes fall away to the N and W. The feature fades out upon the hill slope to the NE and terminates upon the slopes beneath the corner tower. Outside the gatehouse is a 60.0m square enclosure, bounded by outward facing scarps 1.0 to 1.5m high, with traces of a bank above and, on the SW side, remains of a ditch below, 5.0m wide and 0.3m deep. There is a break in the SE side through which passes the hollow way from the gatehouse.
No evidence was found to indicate that this site was ever a motte and bailey castle, (though a ringwork masked by later works may have existed). The situation is rather weak for one, but quite adequate for a fortified manor house (F1 ASP 05-OCT-72). (PastScape)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1311 June 1 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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