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Long Sutton; The Battery

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Long Sutton.
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: SU75874621
Latitude 51.21007° Longitude -0.91524°

Long Sutton; The Battery has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Medieval building and ringwork identified in a field at Long Sutton. The building was first identified by a scatter of pottery, possibly C12 in date, tile and building stone. It has also been identified as a cropmark. The ringwork survives as an earthwork. Field investigations in 1967 found it to comprises a bank up to 10m in width and 1.8m in height and a ditch up to 8m in width and 1m in depth. The finds from the field are present in Basingstoke Museum. (PastScape)

A field on the Lord Wandsworth estate at Long Sutton, known as 'Court Gardens' is under plough and is strewn with fragments of tile and a few sherds of coarse pottery provisionally identified as 12th century. Other details such as dressed stone suggest a much later date, and it appears probable that the site was that of a dwelling from Norman times.
A crescentic earthwork in the same field also presents problems of date which may be solved by the existence of a definite line of burnt earth, including sherds of yet indeterminate pottery that underlies the earthwork at the original ground level (Ellaway and Willis).
"There is a definite building-site near the earthwork, and the local name, 'Court', suggests that it may have been a manor house. The scraps of pottery from the layer under the earthwork could not be dated but I think the earthwork is associated with the building" (F1 WCW 16-MAY-56).
"In a hot dry summer the rectangular outline of a large building can be seen as parched grass in the field west of the earthwork. From the building a strip of parched grass goes to the earthwork, as if a road underlies the grass. The earthworks is known locally as 'The Battery'. I have no detailed knowledge of any finds made here" (F2 WCW 21-MAY-56).
Building site: SU 7574 4624; Earthwork centred at SU 7589 4621. The site of this building is visible as a scatter of large flints and fragments of tile at the highest point of a spur of high ground in the field. The area is under grass, recently mown, and no other finds were made.
The earthwork is formed by a chalk bank with an eastern ditch, both varying greatly in size and profile due to mutilation. Where best preserved the bank is 10.0m. wide and 1.8m. high with a ditch 8.0m. wide and 1.0m. deep. Both are broken at one point for about 6.0m., but this may be a mutilation. Fragments of tile were found on the earthwork but no trace of the burnt layer or of any structure was seen.
The area enclosed by the earthwork is naturally raised slightly and is separated from the site of the building by a small coombe. In Basingstoke Museum is a box of medieval potsherds and tile from this field (F3 WCW 29-JUN-56).
This work was partly excavated 1963/4 by Farnham Museum Society under the direction of I.Dormor. The foundations of a small building was uncovered in the bank of the earthwork at SU 75874621 and a fragment of corbel and a keystone were found in the ditch. An iron arrowhead was found in the vicinity of the building site at SU 75744624. Visited by Martin Biddle who thought the site might be 11th c. No definite conclusions were reached on the gap in the centre of the earthwork but the general opinion was that it was a 'recent' cut through. (F4 CFW 18-AUG-67). (PastScape)

HAMPSHIRE: LONG SUTTON, WELL (SU 757461). During 1963-64 1. Dormor and the Farnham Museum Society Archaeological Group examined this now partial ring-work known as The Battery, originally located in the early 1930S (Proc. Hants Field Club, XII (1932-4),310). A small building was uncovered within or acting as a revetment to the inner side of the surviving crescent-shaped bank within the wood; this is well preserved with a linear continuation of the ditch to the SE. Finds include a fragment of a corbel and a keystone from the ditch and much early medieval flint-gritted pottery. The rest of the earthwork in the field to the W. has been almost ploughed away and a slightly raised semicircular platform on the projecting chalk spur is all that is left. The field is now ploughed annually and plentiful finds include much 11th- to 14th-century pottery and many fragments of dressed chalk blocks which suggest a substantial building within the enclosure, as indicated on aerial photographs. The magnitude of the surviving earthwork suggests it is an isolated ring-work of relatively limited occupation SW. of the deserted settlement at the medieval Wells. It is the most westerly of a number of possibly related early medieval earthwork defensive sites in the immediate neighbourhood. (Med. Arch. 1971)

In 1963 the archaeological world had some pre-occupation on the forthcoming 900 year anniversary of the Norman Conquest and this may have effected the interpretation and dating of this site as a C11 Norman ringwork. At another time, in a different milieu it would probably have been called an adulterine castle of The Anarchy. Presumably the site represents the manor house of the manor of Well (La Welle, Welles) a small manor held by an archdeacon of Winchester at the beginning of the C12; The manor was held for one knight fee in 1346. (VCH). The actual earthworks are not particularly substantial (The ditch is 1m deep the bank 1.8m high). Seems to be a manor house with some domestic defences. It may be this site is fairly typical of such house and is unusual only in not being redeveloped. The dating of the original construction of the earthwork defences (which may have been repaired on occasions) is not certain and could well be pre-Conquest.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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