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Cadbury Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Cadebi; Cadanbyrig; castri de Cadebir; Camalet; Camelot; Camallate

In the civil parish of South Cadbury.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Somerset.
1974 county of Somerset.
Medieval County of Somerset.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST628251
Latitude 51.02407° Longitude -2.53124°

Cadbury Castle has been described as a probable Urban Defence, and also as a Uncertain although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Ancient site use dating back to the Neolithic. Revived as fortress town by Ethelred II in 1009 but shortlived and abandoned in reign of Cnut. In July 1209, 40 marks were paid out of King John's household to Peter Descudamore and Godfrey of St Martin "towards the works of the Castle of Cadbury". No other reference to the Castle is known, but as Peter and Godfrey appear to have been connected with the SW counties it was presumably either Cadbury in Devonshire or one of the two (?four) places of the name in Somerset. King writes that site lost and possible not even in Somerset. This site has been thoroughly excavated but post-Conquest medieval finds do not seem to be reported. Uncertain if this is because such finds do not exist in significant amounts or because the report of them is lost from summary reports available. However it seems unlikely that there was significant post-Conquest occupation although some use of such a good defensive site, adjacent to the main medieval road (now the A303), during the actual Conquest of Somerset in 1067 must be a possibility, although Stuart Prior, who's PhD thesis was on this topic, does not mention Cadbury.

One alternative site for the 1209 'castle' worthy of consideration, although it is rarely given such, is Cadbury Heath near Bristol where there was a royal forest and a hunting lodge within this forest may have been what was being built, particularly given King John's noted attraction to hunting.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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