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Downton on the Rock; The Tump

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle Mount

In the civil parish of Downton.
In the historic county of Herefordshire.
Modern Authority of Herefordshire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Herefordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO427734
Latitude 52.35632° Longitude -2.84250°

Downton on the Rock; The Tump has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A small motte castle situated on rising ground on the west bank of the River Teme. It is visible as an earth and stone rubble mound 23m in diameter at base rising 3.5m to a summit 12m in diameter slightly hollowed to a depth of 0.5m. Around the west, north west and north east (uphill) sides of the motte there are traces of a ditch averaging 7m wide and up to 0.5m deep. It is believed that the castle mound was once surmounted by an octagonal stone keep and that it was originally built by the Mortimer family. The now ruinous Church of St Giles, the subject of a separate scheduling, stands close by the motte and Old Downton Farm is thought to stand on the site of the medieval manor house, indicating that this was the focus of the medieval agricultural community known as Downton on the Rock. (Scheduling Report)

Octagonal tower, signs of bailey & outer enclosures. It seems that Lords of Richards Castle, prob Mortimers, built here smaller version of their great octagonal keep at Richards Castle with addition of some sort of forebuilding on it, on ground level of very low motte. A stream, bordering site has been dammed to form 1 side of defences. Corner of outer enclosure has large masonry buried in tree roots. 2 old wells on site which has seen lot of activity in past making it difficult to read. I found some loose stone & mortar on poss line of bailey wall about to fall out side of a modern silage pit dug across site, along with 5 frags of C12 & C13 pottery. (Herefordshire SMR ref. Sterling-Brown, 1988)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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