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Fillongley Castle Hills

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Old Fillongley

In the civil parish of Fillongley.
In the historic county of Warwickshire.
Modern Authority of Warwickshire.
1974 county of Warwickshire.
Medieval County of Warwickshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP28518776
Latitude 52.48699° Longitude -1.58151°

Fillongley Castle Hills has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Castle Hills survives well and is a good example of a motte and bailey castle. Documentary references indicate that the site dates to the early medieval period and was occupied for only a short time. This will ensure that archaeological deposits from this period will not have been disturbed by later buildings on the site. Structural and artefactual evidence will, therefore, be preserved beneath the ground surface within the castle providing important information for the economy of the castle's inhabitants.
The monument includes the motte and bailey castle and an area of ridge and furrow cultivation. It is situated to the north east of the village of Fillongley and approximately 90m north east of Berryfields Farm.
The motte and bailey castle is located on fairly low-lying ground and has been built adjacent to a small tributary of the Didgley Brook. The motte is situated at the northern end of the bailey and has been artificially raised. The flat-topped motte is oval-shaped and there is a slight gradient on its summit from north east-south west. The motte measures 54m north west-south east and 45m north east-south west and it is up to 4m high. There is an earthen bank around the outer edge of the motte's summit forming part of its defences. The bank rises approximately 2m above the surface of the motte. The northern, eastern and southern sides of the motte are defended by a 12m wide ditch. There is no surface evidence for a ditch to the west of the motte. The ditch may have been infilled and will survive as a buried feature, although it is possible that the stream channel provided a natural defensive feature along the western edge of the motte. The southern part of the motte ditch separates the motte from the bailey to the south west.
The bailey has a rectangular plan and covers an area of 0.35ha. It is slightly raised above the surrounding land and its surface is mostly level. The bailey ditch is approximately 7m wide and is best preserved along its eastern side. There is a small pond at the southern corner of the bailey and, as a result, there is no surface evidence for the inner edge of the ditch in this area. The southern bailey ditch has been infilled but it remains visible as a shallow depression. There is no surface evidence for a ditch along the western edge of the bailey and here again the river channel may have been incorporated into the defences. Access to the motte and bailey castle is currently by means of causeways at the NNW and SSW edges of the site. The SSW causeway is thought to mark the site of the original entrance.
To the north and north east of the motte and bailey castle are the earthwork remains of ridge and furrow cultivation. The ridge and furrow respects the castle defences and this relationship illustrates the impact of the castle on the land use of the surrounding area. A 20m wide sample area of the ridge and furrow is included in the scheduling in order to preserve this relationship. The motte and bailey castle was known as 'Old Fillongley' during the reign of Henry III(1216-72), indicating that the castle had probably been abandoned by this time. (Scheduling Report)

Medieval ringwork and bailey visible as earthworks. The castle is nearly oval in form and situated on low-lying ground. Its defences consisted of a strong rampart running round a raised internal plateau with a deep ditch beyond. The ditch was probably once filled with water from the stream which still runs through it on the south west side. (PastScape)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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