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Cothill Tump, Turnastone

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Cothill Camp

In the civil parish of Turnastone.
In the historic county of Herefordshire.
Modern Authority of Herefordshire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Herefordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO33853629
Latitude 52.02107° Longitude -2.96541°

Cothill Tump, Turnastone has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Earthwork and buried remains of a motte castle, situated at the top of a south facing slope, above a tributary of the River Dore. Although not on the summit of the ridge, the motte sits on a slight natural rise and commands impressive views of the surrounding area. The remains include a steep sided earthen mound of circular form, c.34m diameter at the base, rising c.3.5m to a diameter of c.20m at the top. The sides of the mound are planted with several mature trees, including oak, ash and hawthorne, and its top is very uneven, probably due to early investigation. In the north west quarter a ramp has been cut into the side of the mound, probably also the result of an investigation of the mound, while a second, wider, ramp enters the mound to the south. Spoil from this feature has spread to either side, resulting in an irregular hollow c.1.7m wide at the top of the mound and extending c.3.5m at its base. Given the motte's south facing aspect, the position of this ramp is consistent with an original entry to the monument, however the wide spread of spoil suggests that this area has also been the subject of early investigation. The motte mound is surrounded by a ditch from which material for its construction will have been obtained. The ditch is visible all round the mound, except to the north where its extent has been obscured by ploughing in the adjacent field. It is 2m-2.5m wide and up to 0.4m deep, and the grass within it is both wetter and greener than surrounding areas. The ditch is itself defined by a low external bank, up to 5.5m wide and visible as a slight rise to the south and west of the motte. This feature has been levelled by ploughing in adjacent fields to the north and east. An outlet channel, 2.5m wide, interrupts the bank in the south west quarter; this would have been part of the original water supply system of the motte castle. The position of the monument is typical of Bronze Age bowl barrows locally, and in its present form it may represent medieval adaptation of such an earlier feature. (Scheduling Report)

Also known as Cothill Camp. Mound, 34yds diam, surrounded by dry ditch and rising about 12' above bottom of ditch. Top has sinking c 3' deep (Shoesmith, 1969) Some damage caused by tree removal on S & W in 1967-8 but mound now cleared by Woolhope. It appears to be MBA barrow (RCHME) Shown by Rees as minor fortification or castle site abandoned by C14. Field map seems to indicate that there is a large circular bailey on the NE side of the camp (Golden Valley Community Enterprise Programme Survey). (Herefordshire SMR)

Phillips suggests this was a 'fortified site' with a possible watch tower motte rather than a 'residential castle'.
The site is isolated, with nothing in the archaeological record or field and road patterns to suggest medieval settlement nearby. Is there really evidence for a bailey?
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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