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 

Golden Parsonage, Great Gaddesden

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

OS Map Grid Reference: TL05331242
Latitude 51.80052° Longitude -0.47388°

Golden Parsonage, Great Gaddesden has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.


Tree-covered mound near Golden Parsonage. Variously described as a tumulus, windmill mound, 'adulterine' castle etc. Excavations in 1981 revealed it to be mid 19th century and presumably constructed as an 'eye-catcher' (Doggett and Hunn 1982) within the park. Further work to test a suggestion that it might have covered an icehouse found no trace of any structure (Doggett and Hunn 1987). It looks like a prospect mound, although the mid 19th century is late for such a feature. (Hertfordshire HER)

"A curious small artificial mound or tumulus" at Golden Parsonage. This has been opened up but was found to contain nothing. Its origin is unknown. (VCH; RCHME)
Listed by Dyer (1959) as a possible Saxon barrow, called "Golden Lowe" in the 12th century, quoting Grinsell (1952) as authority. However, Grinsell makes no connection between "Golden Lowe" and the mound at Golden Parsonage and there appears to be no justification for Dyer's assertion. "Golden Lowe" appears to have been situated in the Dunstable area (Mawer, A. and Stenton, F.M., 1926, The Place-Names of Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire (English Place-Name Society 3) p. 120).
A mound, planted with large beech tree and measuring 25.0m in diameter and 3.5m in height. Its extreme height in relation to its diameter suggests that it is not a burial mound but more likely a landscape feature or Belvedere associated with Golden Parsonage (18th century) from which it is visible. No finds have been made and the name "Golden Lowe" is not known to the landowner (F1 NKB 08-MAR-72).
TL 055125. Listed as a doubtful castle mound (Renn).
Mound excavated early September 1981, when a trench measuring 0.75m by 11.6m long was dug along the NW side. The excavation went down to below the old buried land surface and the finds made such as clay pipe stem and pieces of coal from the buried land surface beneath the mound prove conclusively that it was constructed during the mid-nineteenth century (Doggett and Hunn 1982).
TL 05341242. Further excavation in 1984 to test the hypothesis that the mound may cover an ice house disproved this idea, but confirmed the mid-C19th date for the feature (Doggett and Hunn 1982). (PastScape)

It is interesting and informative how this mound, constructed in the C19 had developed a story of great antiquity even by the early C20 (at a time when people who saw its construction might still have been alive).
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 09:21:01

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