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Gringley on the Hill; Beacon Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Beach Hill

In the civil parish of Gringley On The Hill.
In the historic county of Nottinghamshire.
Modern Authority of Nottinghamshire.
1974 county of Nottinghamshire.
Medieval County of Nottinghamshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK74179077
Latitude 53.40872° Longitude -0.88566°

Gringley on the Hill; Beacon Hill has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Situation: The Beacon Hill earthwork occupies a promontory position on the east side of Gringley-on-the-Hill village.
Preservation: It is unclear whether the slight nature of the defences represent a much denuded castle site, a temporary/unfinished castle earthwork, or another landscape feature.
Description: The summit of the hill has been levelled so as to form an irregular oval platform measuring c. 30m east-west x 20m north-south, and the sides of the feature have been artificially scarped to give a height of c. 11m on the north side and c. 7m on the south side prior to a further break of slope. Immediately to the north of this platform, a curvilinear length of apparently artificial terracing follows the natural contours of the hill, and may represent heavily denuded outer defences. It is unclear whether this confusing earthwork, comprising little more than an artificially scarped hill-top, was ever truly defensible and any more than the site of a beacon, as the place-name suggests, although it has alternatively been suggested that the site is a barrow.
Excavation: Unconfirmed and undated reports claim ‘Roman relics’ were found on the site of Beacon Hill. (Creighton 1998)

It was occupied in 1644 by Prince Rupert, when he relieved Newark Castle. (An obvious error - Beacon Hill at Newark). (PastScape ref. VCH)

A natural hill, possibly utilised as a beacon, and rendered defensive by scarping and the construction of a slight ditch; the artificial work is of a slight and inept nature and any occupation of the site must have been for a short period only. (PastScape ref. Field Investigators Comments–F1 FDC 26-NOV-62)

On the edge of the village and not an unlikely place for a manorial centre, although clearly not such a centre for any length of time. Recorded as a 'possible' (meaning doubtful) motte by King but scheduled as a 'other secular site'. Origin or use as a medieval timber castle seems unlikely and, whilst not the Beacon Hill of Prince Rupert may well be a Civil War beacon site slightly defended at that time.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:51

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