GATEHOUSE
A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
 
 
Home
The listings
Other Info
Books
Links
Downloads
Contact
 
Print Page 
 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Ruardean Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ruardyn

In the civil parish of Ruardean.
In the historic county of Gloucestershire.
Modern Authority of Gloucestershire.
1974 county of Gloucestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO61981782
Latitude 51.85767° Longitude -2.55345°

Ruardean Castle has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

Site of a fortified manor house, granted a licence to crenellate in 1310 (previously also probably incorrectly rendered as 1403 in one section of an older source). The licence was granted to a cleric named Alexandre de Bykenore. The surviving evidence suggests the site comprised a courtyard, flanked by short ranges of buildings to the north east and south west, with a tower in the western corner. A gatehouse stood to the south east, with a hollow way leading from it towards the parish church. The site was probably enclosed by a curtain wall and is thought to date from the 13th century. The fallen masonry and earthwork remains of this site were mapped from aerial photographs. (PastScape)

(SO 620178). A Norman-type earthen castle lies in the field NW of the church, with a stone-built keep of circa 13th century, and a manor house extended in the 14th century. There are slight remains of a stone - built tower, and strengthened and crenellated mansion occupied successively by the Albamaras, Hatheways and Bickenores (Hart 1967).
Structural remains and earthworks of a fortified manor house are situated upon the end of a short NW pasture-covered spur between the heads of two valleys. Ground evidence in the form of turf-covered tumbled masonry and buried foundations indicates a courtyard 20.0m square flanked on the NE and SW by short ranges of buildings with a strongly built tower of the W corner, circular externally, octagonal internally, of which the rear wall, 2.5m thick, remains standing to a height of 2.5m. Carved stonework dates it to the 13th century. On the SE side of the courtyard are the tumbled remains of a gate house, with twin buildings flanking the entrance, from which a faint hollow-way leads SE along the spur towards the parish church. The buildings were probably enclosed with a stone curtain wall, the foundations of which are exposed for 6.0m adjoining the SE side of the tower and the course of which can be traced elsewhere in the turf. The site stands upon a levelled platform bounded by an artificially steepened scarp which increases with the natural slope of the top of the spur, from 1.0m at the gatehouse to over 3.0m below the tower. Above this scarp on the NW side is a short length of earthen rampart, 6.0m wide and 1.3m high. At a lower level, around the end of the spur, is an outwork comprising a short, artificially steepened scarp 1.0m high, above a silted up ditch, now appearing as a 2.0m wide terrace, from which steep natural slopes fall away to the N and W. The feature fades out upon the hill slope to the NE and terminates upon the slopes beneath the corner tower. Outside the gatehouse is a 60.0m square enclosure, bounded by outward facing scarps 1.0 to 1.5m high, with traces of a bank above and, on the SW side, remains of a ditch below, 5.0m wide and 0.3m deep. There is a break in the SE side through which passes the hollow way from the gatehouse.
No evidence was found to indicate that this site was ever a motte and bailey castle, (though a ringwork masked by later works may have existed). The situation is rather weak for one, but quite adequate for a fortified manor house (F1 ASP 05-OCT-72). (PastScape)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1311 June 1 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path   NLS maps  
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   EarthTools   GeoHack  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   Flashearth      
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 English Heritage, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. 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 on Saturday, July 26, 2014

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