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 

Godshill Castle Hill, Woodgreen

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Woodgreen.
In the historic county of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Modern Authority of Hampshire.
1974 county of Hampshire.
Medieval County of Hampshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU16661617
Latitude 50.94473° Longitude -1.76422°

Godshill Castle Hill, Woodgreen has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle, and also as a probable Siege Work.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


The keep at the south-west end of the entrenchment, is surrounded on all sides, except the Avon, by a low bank. On the south-west side it is surrounded by a moat and outer bank behind the modern farmhouse. A depression, most likely the well, is at the west corner of the keep. The bailey, north-east of the keep, is cut off by a bank & ditch; beyond this there are indications of another bailey. There is a tradition of stones having been taken from this site to build a chapel (Williams-Freeman 1915).
An unusual earthwork comprising an oval ring motte with smaller outer bailey to the north-east and a possible further bailey, now much destroyed by quarrying, to the north-east again. The work is situated on the south-western end of a prominent spur above the River Avon.
It is generally as described by Williams-Freeman; the supposed moat to the south-west of the farm-house may be an outer ditch but is more likely a hollow-way: it was never water-filled as it lies well above the river. Some 300 metres to the north-east of the motte, along the summit of the spur, is a fairly substantial cross-ridge bank some 26.0m in length and 12.0m wide and up to 1.4m in height, with traces of a ditch on its outer side. It is almost certainly an outer defence of the work (F1 FGA 28-APR-69).
It is suggested that this work was the siege castle built against Downton in 1148 (Creighton). (PastScape)

5.5Km downstream from Downton Moot Close where it might, conceivable, control the river access but might be the wrong side of the river to control the major road. The ringwork form is certainly that used by other siege castles (i.e. Exeter Danes castle or The Rings at Corfe) but also by residential castles. The report of masonry might represent a stone building (?chapel) within timber defences rather than strong masonry work but this would certainly not be a feature of a temporary siege castle. Did this castle in fact start as a lodge of a bailiff of the New Forest; later becoming the manor of Fold?
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 09:20:09

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