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Castle Croft, Ninfield

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Rats Castle

In the civil parish of Ninfield.
In the historic county of Sussex.
Modern Authority of East Sussex.
1974 county of East Sussex.
Medieval County of Sussex (Rape of Hastings).

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ68101158
Latitude 50.87927° Longitude 0.38813°

Castle Croft, Ninfield has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.


Castle Croft. An earthwork comprising a convex platform raised above the surrounding ground and enclosed within a fairly deep but narrow trench. Possibly a dry island for stock when the area is flooded, but "a more reasonable explanation" is that it was a "crannog or marsh village". Known locally as Rat's Castle.(VCH) The name Rat's Castle acquired because it was traditionally the refuge for water rats. Possibly a cattle refuge in times of flood.Castle Croft, an oval area, under permanent pasture, c 90.0m NE-SW by c 64.0m transversely, raised about 1.5m above the surrounding drained flood plain. It is steep-sided and almost completely encircled by a hedge in such a manner as to form a revetment. It appears to form an integral part of the system of fields reclaimed from marshland, and as such is almost certainly contemeporary. As suggested, it is probably a cattle refuge formed by the sculpturing of a natural rise. The interior is featureless.(OS field report) Roman tile has been recovered from the make up of the earthwork and a quantity of Roman coins found by metal detectorists on the mound. These finds suggest the site may be Romano-British possibly related to a quayside settlement. (East Sussex HER)

Catalogued as a motte but clearly no such thing and it is unclear who ever suggested this identification.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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