The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Berden; The Rookery

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Cumber Hills

In the civil parish of Berden.
In the historic county of Essex.
Modern Authority of Essex.
1974 county of Essex.
Medieval County of Essex.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL46582919
Latitude 51.94203° Longitude 0.13117°

Berden; The Rookery has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are no visible remains.


Small ringwork Excavated by Knocker, finds included C12-C13 pottery. Surrounded by a U-shaped ditch, overall diameter c180ft, central area 72ft across. Ditch 5-6ft deep, filled with c2ft of wet silt. Finds also included a C12 pot in the make-up of the bank, a C13 pot in the central hearth. A map of 1602 shows the earthworks somewhat sketchily as a rectangle (with S P Plowden at Berden Hall?). On an RAF photo donated by Mrs Angela Colne, a note says 'The interior of this work is boggy and contains water. Destroyed by ploughing and the name 'The Rookery' is no longer used locally (1975). The field in which the earthwork stands was called 'Cumber Hills' in 1839. 1950 the moat was permanently dry for half its circumference on the south side. It is suggested that it was unfinished and that it predated the similar site at TL 46952895. By 1966 the site had been completely ploughed out. Excavation 1954 by G.M. Knocker on behalf of the DOE. Report TEAS NS 25, 258 suggests C12-C13 date on basis of finds. (Derived from Unlocking Essex's Past)

Destruction seems complete with nothing now visible on air photo. Comparison with Berden Crump and a knowledge of the tenurial history of Berden needed for a proper understanding of this site.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact