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Little Gaddesden Church Meadow earthworks

In the civil parish of Little Gaddesden.
In the historic county of Hertfordshire.
Modern Authority of Hertfordshire.
1974 county of Hertfordshire.
Medieval County of Hertfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP996138
Latitude 51.81459° Longitude -0.55581°

Little Gaddesden Church Meadow earthworks has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Earthworks in the field west of Little Gaddesden church include a roughly circular area 60m across, with a larger outer ring attached. The form may be that of a motte and bailey, or alternatively Late Iron Age/Roman settlement. A trench near the centre of the smaller ring (at cSP 9965 1387) uncovered a possible cobbled area and a good deal of pottery dated to the 11C-14C; another trench across the southern end of the outer ring found nothing. The finds may suggest a medieval date for the earthworks but earlier finds are said to be Roman. Analysis of geophysical survey suggests some complexity, with many landscape features. (Hertfordshire HER)

Local tradition asserts that the village of Little Gaddesden was at one time situated around the now isolated parish church at SP 997 138. The present church of St Peter and St Paul dates from the early 17th century, but there has been an incumbent from 1276. The fact that the church is isolated, and that evidence of old track-ways and disturbed ground is to be found nearby, does indicate former occupation. There is a probable mill-mound at SP 9987 1367.
From field observation no pattern of settlement could be found, and AP's of the area showed no signs of a possible village. (PastScape ref. MRGR 1974)

Although the village is now to the south the site is close to the church and probable medieval settlement. The site and finds are strongly suggestive of a manorial centre but how fortified is open to question.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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