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Welcombe Castle Hill, Stratford Upon Avon

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Stratford Upon Avon.
In the historic county of Warwickshire.
Modern Authority of Warwickshire.
1974 county of Warwickshire.
Medieval County of Warwickshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP20895663
Latitude 52.20754° Longitude -1.69570°

Welcombe Castle Hill, Stratford Upon Avon has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.


Temple Hill or Castle Hill. Mound associated with a C19 landscape park, it has been suggested that it may originally have been a motte. Not near Church but by DMV of Welcombe. Temple Hill is a large isolated mainly natural mound, with a flattened top and a spiral path up to it. In its present form it is obviously a landscape feature connected with the 1869 Welcombe mansion; but it is an ideal motte (though the landscaping has destroyed any definite evidence) and its actually being such is borne out by the fact that -
1. its traditional name is 'Castle Hill, (Jorden)
2. Welcombe Estate was the chief manor of Old Stratford in surveys of c1182 and 1252; also the mound is only half a mile from the Domesday Manor of Clopton. (VCH)
3. fIn 1792 labourers found on the summit, some 14" below the surface, many human bones (including a whole skeleton with a small piece of iron weapon in the skull) and an 'ancient weapon' (evidently some sort of pike, see illus.) (Gentleman's Magazine) (PastScape – the reference source seems to be G.Stanhope-Lovell, S/S, 16.11.66)
Mr. Dufty suggests that the weapon is a late 16th - early 17th c. linstock (examples in Skelton's 'Engraved Illust. of Ancient Arms & Armour' Vol. 2, 1830, plates LXXXVI and CXIV, and elsewhere), but it seems equally to resemble a 15th c. 'Korseke' pole-arm (examples in 'Tables of Ancient Arms', Metropolitan Museum, New York). The finds therefore are unlikely to have any bearing on the mound as an artificial feature, except as giving a terminus ante quem. (PastScape - ref. oral information)

The location, next to a later high status house, does mean this mainly natural hill could have been used as a motte by a precursor medieval manor house although the actually evidence - which is mainly a C18 reference to a Castle Hill place-name - is weak. If a medieval castle then later mansion would occupy the site of the bailey making a castle of considerable size.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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