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Clothall Castle

In the civil parish of Clothall.
In the historic county of Hertfordshire.
Modern Authority of Hertfordshire.
1974 county of Hertfordshire.
Medieval County of Hertfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL27183147
Latitude 51.96745° Longitude -0.15023°

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

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The moat has a particular significance through its close association with the contemporary deserted medieval settlement at nearby Clothall. Extensive related remains of buildings around the moat as well as horticultural earthworks and ditches indicate that settlement at this site developed in importance through time.
The monument includes a trapezoidal moated site and associated earthworks near the crest of Hickmans Hill, Clothall. The moat is aligned east-west with a single causeway facing south. The site has maximum external dimensions of about 90m and tapers to 60m on the western side. The moat is up to 5m wide and 1.5m deep and although not water filled shows signs of dampness. There is also a dry feeder channel 18m long connecting with a fishpond on the north-west corner of the moat. The moat is surrounded by an outer bank on all but the southern side. Opposite the entrance on the north-western side of the island is an area of uneven ground which marks structural evidence for earlier buildings. A low terrace platform about 8m wide extends along the eastern side of the moat. In the field east of the moat are a series of features including a linear earthwork 0.5m high and 6m wide. There are also a number of ditches crossing the field which form an integral part of the water management complex. (Scheduling Report)

Earthworks of castle, later used as a manor house, and alleged site of a house belonging to Clothall Leper hospital. Inhumations have been found on the site, suggesting it may have been the site of the leper hospital burial ground. A dry homestead moat, circa 74.0m East-West by about 80.0m North-South overall, with an original entrance on the south side. The arms are 8.0m wide and 2.0m deep, with a retaining bank on the North and West sides. To the west of the moat is a banked Mediaeval boundary ditch and also traces of a supply ditch to the North-West corner of the moat. (PastScape)

Semi-circular ditched enclosure beside lane east of Hickman's Hill with irregular quadrilateral in eastern half. Two mounds may mark the site of a gatehouse. The hospital of St Mary Magdalene was translated here 1303-07. (Renn)

The story of this being the site of a lepar hospital is, apparently, incorrect and this was a manor house. DJC King records this as a castle but seems to be a fairly usual moated manor house, although the evidence for a gatehouse is interesting.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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