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Oare Common, Hermitage

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Chieveley, Chievely

In the civil parish of Hermitage.
In the historic county of Berkshire.
Modern Authority of West Berkshire.
1974 county of Berkshire.
Medieval County of Berkshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU50577345
Latitude 51.45622° Longitude -1.27225°

Oare Common, Hermitage has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are uncertain remains.


On the summit of the ridge called Oare Common are two earthworks, A small enclosure at SU 5057 7345 is of slight construction and appears to be of a pastoral nature. A large enclosure at SU 5063 7329 comprises a rather weak circular enclosure with an outer work or annexe which is comparatively strong and probably defensive. It could be of I.A origin, but its plan and reasonable state of preservation is more suggestive of a form of ring motte and bailey. The entrances, much destroyed, appear to have been in the N.W. approached from the crest of the ridge. The features, referred to by the previous authorites are visible, through the trees, as earthworks on aerial photographs. They comprise two incomplete curvilinear ditched enclosures situated in the woods on Oare Common. One of the enclosures is defined by a ditch which describes an arc which is 120m long and encloses an area which measures 55m across. A ditch, measuring 90m long, is situated to the north of the enclosure and may be an outwork. The other enclosure encloses a curvilinear area which measures 60m by 40m. The date of these features is unclear. They could be of late prehistoric date but they could represent the remnants of Medieval features. (PastScape)

Rejected by King as an Iron Age hill fort.


There is a undoubted IA hillfort, Grimsbury Castle, 1200m SW. The area is wooded and there are place-names such as Boars Farm and Roebuck Wood which suggests this was an area of medieval forest. Was this a early hunting lodge reusing an IA stock enclosure?
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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