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Meppershall; The Hills

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Meppenhall; Maperteshalam

In the civil parish of Meppershall.
In the historic county of Bedfordshire.
Modern Authority of Bedfordshire.
1974 county of Bedfordshire.
Medieval County of Hertfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL13253585
Latitude 52.00952° Longitude -0.35143°

Meppershall; The Hills has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Motte measuring circa 25.0m by 30.0m, with baileys of irreuglar shape. The surrounding ditches are dry and there appears to be the remains of a contemporary sluice ditch on the North-East side. The motte and bailey are surrounded by the bank and ditch of an outer entrenchment in the form of a rough square enclosing about 30 acres. The whole site is largely devoid of habitation, and this outer enclosure is probably comtemporary with the motte and bailey. This motte may have been one of those besieged by King Stephen in 1138. (PastScape)

A Charter of King Stephan is given to St. Radegund's Priory during the siege of Meppershall (apud Maperteshalam in obsidione). The dating of this charter, and the siege, is contested. Howlett suggested 1138 but Cronne and Davis suggest a date after 1147. Petre writes it is "unclear as to whether Meppershall was itself besieged or was used as a base by Stephen for a siege he mounted of Bedford."

The caput of the Meppershall family who held the manor as tenant in chief. A family of local importance and occasional royal service in minor positions.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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