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Glottenham Castle, Mountfield

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Mountfield.
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: TQ726221
Latitude 50.97252° Longitude 0.45764°

Glottenham Castle, Mountfield has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The site of Glottenham Castle is marked by a few overgrown stones, surrounded by a moat in a shaw known as Castle Shaw close to Glottenham Farm. Horsfield describes it as a moated mansion (Hodson; Horsfield).
Excavated by Robertsbridge and District Arch Soc. A flat rectangular area 110ft x 160ft surrounded by a moat, now dry on its W side. A postern gate was revealed consisting of two rooms separated by an entrance passage. The external walls, battered on both sides, were constructed of large blocks of uncoursed rubble. In the SE corner of the S room, where a small portion of dressed wall remains, the lower course of a doorway and traces of paving were found. The moat which lapped against the walls at this point had a bottom of puddled clay. Finds include coarse pottery and brick of the late C13/C14, and C15 key. A little early C17 red-glazed pottery found amongst destruction-debris seems to be later than the occupation of the area (Med Arch Vol. 11).
Excavations by D Martin completed on a gatehouse at the de Etchingham's fortified manor house lying under Room 1, were the remains of a rough enclosure of limestone slabs. It is not known if it is earlier or contemporary with the moat, it may be connected with building operations before the erection of the gatehouse. After falling into disuse the enclosure was used as a temporary camp or mess area for the builders borne out by the discovery of a food-bone, pottery and carbonised grain. Soon after, the gatehouse was built, the massive masonry foundations being all that have survived. Footings of the curtain wall which also formed the W walls of the gatehouse were carried down below the moat bottom. The building seems to have been erected c 1300. It is not certain whether the curtain wall is contemporary with, or earlier than, the gatehouse; the foundations of the former are completely different from those of the latter, which skirt the moat. Pottery evidence suggests that the gatehouse was abandoned in the late C16 or C17. (Med. Arch Vol. 12).
The principal remains of Glottenham Castle comprise a rectangular moat, now dry except for the E arm. There is an outer retaining bank along the E side.Excavations on the gatehouse site have been filled in, but a wall corner remains exposed. On the S side of the enclosure, a short stretch of curtain wall foundation has been exposed by excavation, and the Robertsbridge Arch Soc has been attempting, during 1970, to trace the foundations of the manor house itself. Work will continue in 1971. A causeway across the NW corner of the moat is modern (Field Investigators Comments 15/06/2010F1 ASP 28-OCT-70). (PastScape)

The moated site at Glottenham is one of a small but significant group of hill- top spring-fed moated sites which add balance to the generally lowland distribution of this class of monument. Limited excavations have confirmed the good survival of archaeological deposits on the island and the moat is likely to be of similarly high potential.
The moated site at Glottenham Castle includes a rectangular moat defining an island 50m long and 35m across, with a low external bank on the eastern side. Moated sites are generally seen as the prestigious residences of the Lords of the manor. The moat marked the high status of the occupier, but also served to deter casual raiders and wild animals. Most moats were constructed between 1250 and 1350, and partial excavation of the site at Glottenham has shown that a date around 1300 is entirely appropriate for the site. Historical records suggest that Glottenham became the family seat of the de Etchinghams until it was abandoned in the late 16th or 17th century. Outside the moated area on the east side is an obliquely-aligned bank no more then 30cm in height. The causeway at the north-west corner is a recent addition but at the north-east corner an original leat survives which drained the water from the moat. The main feature of the excavations was the discovery of a stone-built gatehouse on the west side of the moat island which straddled the entrance road. (Scheduling Report)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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