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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Brame; Aldehede

In the civil parish of Ely.
In the historic county of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely.
Modern Authority of Cambridgeshire.
1974 county of Cambridgeshire.
Medieval County of county palatine of the Isle of Ely.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL534777
Latitude 52.37631° Longitude 0.24970°

Braham has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Moat with ridge and furrow (CUCAP grid ref TL/533-/777-).(A Spedding 29/11/1983, CUCAP AP BLS 93 used). Additional note: Probable moat with surrounding ridge and furrow. Suggestion of internal features. (R Palmer 16/01/1989).
Moat at the S end of the parish in the home field of Brame or Braham Farm. A feeble rectangular earthwork about 180 feet square, slightly rounded at the corners, with two banks and shallow dry ditches. At one angle there is a small projecting work, and within the work faint traces of a smaller rectangular enclosure with a single bank may be seen. The OS (6 inch County Series 1903 2nd edition) map calls this site a 'Ro Camp', but no finds are recorded, is most likely Med (VCH 1948).
The enclosure consists of a small rectangular area bounded by triple banks and ditches whose height or depth is nowhere more than 2 feet. The enclosure is surrounded by ridge and furrow, which is also traceable not only within it but also between the inner and centre banks on the W side. Five small mounds in the interior, all under 1,5 feet high, overlie the ridge and furrow and there is an original entrance on the S side. Small scale excavations produced no evidence of date or function. The survey shows however, that the enclosure is Medieval or later and was constructed on the top of existing ridge and furrow. This type of enclosure is common all over the British Isles, although rare in Cambridgeshire, and is generally assumed to be a stock enclosure (Taylor 1973).
The principle of simple relationship of ridge and furrow with later features can be used in other ways. In Cambridgeshire, S of Ely near Braham Farm, all OS maps show a rectangular enclosure 100 by 115 m, bounded by triple banks which are all under 0,5 m high, with a simple entrance on one side. The site has interested local archaeologists for several years and many explanations for its possible use have been put forward, including a Roman camp and a Medieval farmstead. The fact, actually of no importance whatsoever, that the adjacent farm is mentioned in Domesday book in 1086 has also been used to draw attention to the 'obvious' antiquity of the enclosure. It has even been twice excavated with no finds or results. And yet until 1969 no-one had ever looked at the site carefully or made an accurate plan. Once this was done it was obvious that the whole enclosure lay on top of ridge and furrow which was still traceable within the interior and even between the enclosing banks. Thus whatever date it is, and this is still not known, the site is clearly Medieval or Post Medieval, and whatever it was for, equally unknown, it was certainly never occupied by buildings. The best explanation is that it is a cattle or sheep pen of no great antiquity. The work involved in establishing the relationships here took about five minutes of careful observation and 2 hours of detailed planning (Taylor 1974).
The banks to the S have been defaced and are hardly recognisable. The only parallels suggested are with a civil war earthwork seen at Nebsworth in Warwickshire (SP 1942) (but the banks here are not as large nor do they have such a sharp profile), and a civil war work at Hawton, Nottingham (SK 7851). In the latter, the C17 earthwork is constructed upon the lines of an earlier homestead moat, and such might have been the case here. Published survey 25 inch revised.
Fox in 1922 recorded no finds therefore no date. Green glazed pottery found by Ely Field Club c 1930.
The farmer says that when the elms died 18 months ago, he ploughed the site and that the outer earthwork is still discernible. We saw no pattern.
Isolated in flood plane (sic) of the Cam. A gleyed soil from boulder clay. 0,25 ha; unoccupied; ? entry; dry; no mill, surface finds or APs; rectangular plan. The whole recently destroyed and ploughed out. The excuse given is that the removal of dead elms defaced the earthworks. (Cambridgeshire HER)

Suggest site for vanished castle of 'Aldehede'.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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