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Culverhay Castle, Englishcombe

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
English Combe

In the civil parish of Englishcombe.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Bath and North East Somerset.
1974 county of Avon.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST719631
Latitude 51.36555° Longitude -2.40500°

Culverhay Castle, Englishcombe has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a Masonry Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

Medieval ringwork castle comprising motte and elliptical bailey. The ringwork is surounded by a substantial ditch with an outer bank on all but the southern side. To the west is is a smaller enclosure or bailey and within the main enclosure are slight earthwork remains of stone buildings. Excavation in the 1930s revealed the footings of a small circular keep, tentatively dated to the early 13th century. A hunting park seems to have been attached to the castle. (PastScape)

Ringwork, measuring 18.28m long by 36.57m wide, surrounded by a substantial ditch, up to 1.52m deep,with an outer bank on all but the S side. There are two slight causeways across the ditch on the N and S sides, although the former looks relatively modem. On the W side is a smaller enclosure which may represent the remains of a bailey.
Later or Associated Structures:Small circular stone keep; the remains of 2 or 3 stone buildings; revetment or curtain-wall with towers at its angles; small bailey.
Quality or Condition: Earthworks of average strength/ featureless stone fragments or foundations.
Likely Builder/Owner: ?Nigel de Gourney (the tenant of Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances, in 1086). (Prior 2004)

Salter writes castle may be pre-norman in origin and that the circular foundation are that of a dovecote (The name Culverhay means 'enclosure of the doves.') Excavated by Norman Pounds in 1938 at an early point in his career.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
  • Websites (Gatehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
  • Books
    • Bond, James, 2006, 'The Architecutre of Power' in Barry W. Cunliffe, 2006, England's Landscape The West (English Heritage) p. 85-6 Google preview, without illustrations
      Prior, Stuart, 2006, A Few Well-Positioned Castles: The Norman Art of War (Tempus) p. 68-109
      Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Wessex (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 70
      Dunning, Robert, 1995, Somerset Castles (Somerset Books) p. 37
      Aston, M., Iles, R. (eds), 1989, The Archaeology of Avon p. 123-4
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 443
      Burrow, Edward J., 1924, Ancient Earthworks and Camps of Somerset (Cheltenham and London) p. 514
  • Periodical Articles
    • Iles, R. and Stacey, M .,1983, in Iles, R., 'Avon Archaeology 1982' Bristol and Avon Archaeology Vol. 2 p. 54
      Pounds, N.J.G., 1934-8, Proceedings of the Bath Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club p. 226-30
  • Other sources: Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
    • Prior, Stuart, 2004, _"Winning Strategies" An Archaeological Study of Norman Castles in the Landscapes of Somerset, Monmouthshire and County Meath, 1066-1186 (PhD thesis; University of Bristol) Vol. 2 p. 145 Download via EThOS
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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.
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This record last updated on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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