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Wantisden Cumberlands Mount

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Staverton Park; Comwells Mount; Caesar's Camp

In the civil parish of Wantisden.
In the historic county of Suffolk.
Modern Authority of Suffolk.
1974 county of Suffolk.
Medieval County of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TM354512
Latitude 52.10925° Longitude 1.43660°

Wantisden Cumberlands Mount has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A semi-sub-circular earthwork, comprised of a shallow ditch and two banks, with a southern entrance and an open north side. It is situated in Staverton Park, 775ft south east of Rendlesham parish boundary and 20ft east of Eyke parish boundary (TM 353512). During excavations in 1910 finds were made of early Medieval pottery, probable 15th Cent glazed pottery, an iron buckle, a cone-shaped spindle whorl, flint flakes and an antler pick. The earthwork is difficult to date. It could be Norman in origin, or a camp built by insurgents in the Peasant Revolt in 1381, when Staverton Hall, 1 1/2 miles away, was destroyed. (PastScape–ref. Gray)

There is no natural defence on the northern side and no evidence to suggest that the earthwork was anything more than a temporary refuge and apparently Medieval. (King and Alcock)

The feature appears in its complete state, there being no suggestion of any continuation being ploughed out. There is an original causewayed entrance, centrally positioned, across the ditch and cutting the bank. The character and topographical position of the work suggest it is more protective than defensive, and numerous sherds of pottery found in perambulation of the enclosed area (classified by Ipswich museum as early Md c. 12th century) together with the excavation finds indicate that this work is Medieval. (PastScape–ref. Field Investigators Comments-F1 JRL 27-MAR-73)

A half-moon shaped earthwork consisting of a single bank and ditch facing the upward slope to the S. The N side towards the stream is unprotected. Chord about 400 feet. Excavated 1910 by W M Capp and H St George Gray. Fairly conclusively proved to be Med (associated by the writers with the Peasants' revolt), but in the light of modern knowledge, pottery looks C13. Earthwork does not fit with any well-known type of castle or domestic moat. Its location within a medieval deer park (see WNN 008) suggests that it had a specialised use connected with deer management (Suffolk HER–re. Scheduling report).


A fine example of how authors can get carried away by the distinct bias in historical records towards 'military' events and explanations. The description as a deer park feature is clearly the most credible explanation of this earthwork (although it is also suggested as a 'red hill' salt works) and Gatehouse now (from 24-11-2009) rejects this as a ringwork despite King's identification, which had previously had Gatehouse accepting this as a certain ringwork.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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