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Drakestone Point, Stinchcombe

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Dursley; Durslea

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

OS Map Grid Reference: ST737980
Latitude 51.67996° Longitude -2.38244°

Drakestone Point, Stinchcombe has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The almost level spur of Drakestone Point is broken by a series of banks, with ditches facing Stinchcombe Hill, extending over a distance of 180 feet where the width is only about 30 feet. At the NE end two banks, with their medial ditch, curve back on each side into the hillside; elsewhere the banks and ditches are straighter, although bank M-N broadens considerably at its east end. A small mound, possibly a barrow, about 20 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height, with a central depression now occupied by a seat, stands between P and Q. A small oval depression about 18 inches deep lies near point F on the edge of ditch G.
Baker believed the earthworks to be a beacon communicating between the Iron Age forts of the neighbourhood, of which he names nine, while Renn suggests that it is the site of the castle built by Roger de Berkeley in AD 1153 after his loss of Berkeley Castle (See ST 79 NE 21 for an alternative site) (Annotated Record Map Corr 6" (Marjorie Crook 1926); Baker; Renn).
The earthworks at Drakestone Point occur on a spur of oolite and comprise about six lateral 'trenches'. These bear no resemblance to a hillfort and according to the Geological survey are a series of natural "gulls", and not a 'Camp' as published on the OS 25". The situation at the end of the spur affords excellent views over the Severn Vale, but while there may have been such things as IA Beacons something more tangible is required before we can accept one here. (F1 MJF 08-FEB-71)

Clearly this location could have been used as a lookout, but that function does not require a fortification or accommodation for more than a handful of men and horses. The hill top site would not be well supplied with water, which horses need in large amounts. This can be rejected as the site of a castle.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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