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Wheathampstead

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle Meadows; Creswell Farm

In the civil parish of Wheathampstead.
In the historic county of Hertfordshire.
Modern Authority of Hertfordshire.
1974 county of Hertfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL157147
Latitude 51.81896° Longitude -0.32280°

Wheathampstead has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are no visible remains.

Description

Vanished possible castle. Renn writes "The castle of John de Leycestre (fl. 1278-90) is said to to be 1 1/2 miles along the Luton Road." PastScape record reads "Castle Meadows at Creswell Farm is the alleged site site of a castle."

The farm is Causewell Farm on maps from 1676 'Castle' is a modern corruption. On the south side of the Lea River, the field on the 1840 Wheathampstead tithe map is named 'Castle Meadow'. This was related by to John de Leycester, 13C rector of Wheathampstead, 'Leycester' being interpreted as 'Lea Castle'. The supposed site was a small gravel knoll rising above the valley floor, forming a fordable river crossing. Trenches across the knoll in 1993 exposed 400 square metres of the knoll and showed it to consist of natural gravel throughout, with no trace of any earthworks or medieval occupation. (Herts HER)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
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Sources of information, references and further reading
  • English Heritage (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s) 362192.
  • County Historic Environment Record (or Sites and Monuments Record) number(s) 501.
  • Books
    • Renn, D.F., 1971, Medieval Castles in Hertfordshire (Chichester: Phillimore) p. 25
  • Periodical Articles
    • Davys, O.W., 1889, 'Notes on the Church of St Helen, and Ecclesiastical History of Wheathampstead' Transactions of the St Albans Architectural and Archaeological Society Vol. 9 p. 16-17
  • Other sources: Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
    • Isobel Thompson, 2005, Extensive Urban Survey - Hertfordshire (English Heritage) Download copy
      Simon West. 1999. Aldwickbury golf course: a prehistoric and Roman landscape (R998). field evaluation
      Simon West. 1993. Aldwickbury golf course: an evaluation of the archaeological implications (R450). field evaluation
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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.
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.
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This record last updated on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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