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Ayleford Cern Hill

In the civil parish of Newnham.
In the historic county of Gloucestershire.
Modern Authority of Gloucestershire.
1974 county of Gloucestershire.
Medieval County of Gloucestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO66510885
Latitude 51.77731° Longitude -2.48680°

Ayleford Cern Hill has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Upon the tree covered summit of a grassy knoll in an angle in the valley of the Soudley Brook at Two Bridges, are slight but clear remains of a probable ring motte. The defensive situation is excellent with steep slopes dipping away from the edges of the work to the valley below except to a ridge to the east. The earthen bank measures overall 17.6 metres east to west by 15.5 metres north to south. It averages 6.5 metres in width and 0.2 metres in height, except on the east where it rises 0.7 metres on sloping ground. In the north-east side is a slight lowering of the bank suggestive of an entrance (Field Investigators Comments F1 ASP 30-AUG-84). (PastScape)

Marked as 'motte' on modern OS map but not marked on earlier OS maps. Not noted by D.J.C. King. On the edge of the Forest of Dean in an area of dispersed settlement. Tree covered and earthworks not clear on air photograph. Not now near a farmstead but not entirely improbably as a small manor centre although the fine and recent VCH (Currie, C.R.J. and Herbert, N.M., 1996, VCH Gloucester Vol. 5 Parish of Awre where 7 manors in the parish are detailed) does not record a manor here. The reason for the identification of this earthwork as a medieval ring motte rather than an Iron Age enclosure is unclear but may be based on a similarity to St Briavels Stow Green. There does not seem to be any dating evidence. On the bases of a lack of historical evidence to support this as a manorial site, the apparent similarity to prehistoric earthworks and the lack of dating evidence Gatehouse considers this as an unlikely castle site.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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