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 

Mary le Bone Hill, Sandwich

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Manwood Road; Marrowbone Hill

In the civil parish of Sandwich.
In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of Kent.
1974 county of Kent.
Medieval County of Kent.

OS Map Grid Reference: TR32245808
Latitude 51.27451° Longitude 1.32832°

Mary le Bone Hill, Sandwich has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Well defined circular ditch (motte?) with less distinct 'bailey' (also circular) attached to it and centered on TR 32235803: within the 'bailey' is the site of a probable 13th century chapel (AP (RAF 106G UK 1131 F3041; 17 1 46). The cropmark remains of the large, probably Medieval, motte and bailey described by the previous authority were seen centred at TR 3224 5808 and mapped at 1:2500 scale from aerial photographs as part of the English Heritage: Richborough Environs Project. The site appears as a low circular mound surrounded by a broad ditch, possibly a motte, with a diameter of 68m. In the centre of the mound there is a rectilinear depression synonymous with a building foundation, however, on photographs taken in 1945 a small rectilinear structure thought to be a WWII gun pit was noted at this location. It is not certain if the two features are connected with one another. Attached to the southern side of this enclosure is a second sub-circular enclosure with a broad ditch measuring 73m x 98m. To the west of the supposed bailey and to a lesser extent to the north-east of the supposed motte are a number of interconnecting ditches which may be associated with the drainage/water supply to the site. The site is low lying, occupying a low promontory on the well drained Thanet Beds to the west of Sandwich. Despite its name, at no point does the 'hill rise to the height of the 5m contour (Aerial photograph-RAF 58/1111 0012 050MAY-1953). The name Mary-le-Bone Hill is a recent corruption, the site being called Marrowbone hill on the 1871 OS plan. On the south-western mound the SMR notes the possible foundations of a 13th century chapel which include large flints and fragments of Carrara marble which has most probably been robbed from the Roman fort at Richborough. This may have been the early site of The Maldry, a Sandwich leper hospital or possibly connected with an enclosure by Leeds Priory in the early 14th century which was the subject of a law suit. There was no surface evidence at all of the castle at the site. AP evidence has since been followed up. Photographs since 1945 show the deterioration of the site from apparent slight earthwork remains to the survival of the site as a soil mark in photographs from 1979. No more recent photographs were available to consult (English Heritage Alternative Action Report-MPPA: Mr A G Brown. Date of Visit: 10-May-1990). (PastScape)

Identification of this vague cropmark as a site of a motte and bailey seems questionably, particularly since the site is well outside Sandwich and it may well be the cropmark represents the enclosure of the possible leper hospital (which one would expect to be well outside the town).
The masonry castle was built just outside the town walls in 1290. If there was an earlier castle at Sandwich there seems to be no reason to believe it was not at that site.
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 09:20:06

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