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Ramsey Booths Hill

In the civil parish of Ramsey.
In the historic county of Huntingdonshire.
Modern Authority of Cambridgeshire.
1974 county of Cambridgeshire.
Medieval County of Huntingdonshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL292848
Latitude 52.44574° Longitude -0.09998°

Ramsey Booths Hill has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

Within the moat surrounding Ramsey Abbey, and near its southern side, is a curious mound surrounded by a moat. The mound, which goes by the name of Booth's Hill, is not large, but it has been adapted as an ice house in recent years, so its present form cannot be guaranteed as original; it now rises some 16ft above the bottom of the moat, which is itself 4ft below the surrounding surface. It stands about the middle of the S side of the Inclosure, which is 310ft long by about 120ft wide. Within the Inclosure, eastwards of the mound, is a large pond, and there are also three other depressions, but some of these may be Mod. It is possible that this little castle was erected by Geoffrey de Mandeville for his own use when he took possession of the Abbey and quartered his soldiers there. He was killed in 1144, and his son removed the soldiers to Wood Walton. (Pevsner, 1968)

The only visible earthworks in Ramsey are those at Booth's Hill to the south of the abbey site. They consist of a motte surrounded by a moat of irregular oval shape (c. 90m x 35m) which is some 5m at its widest point. The mound of the motte is about 3.5m. To the east there are a large pond and three smaller (modern?) depressions. This motte has been traditionally associated with Geoffrey de Mandeville who took possession of the abbey and quartered his soldiers there during 1140-1144. The mound was converted into an icehouse much later. The western part of this site is presently occupied by 29 Hollow Lane. During the Fenland Survey sherds of fourteenth- seventeenth century pottery and a large quantity of seventeenth century building debris were recorded at this location (Hall 1992, 48). (Cambridgeshire Extensive Urban Survey: Ramsey.)
Comments

Little motte of about 1140-1144. This is not recorded in the PastScape. On OS map of 1891 it looks like a small motte with square bailey to west. Was this part of the fortification associated with nearby Ramsey Abbey in 1143. Mound still there but overgrown, but possible bailey now built over.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 23/02/2016 10:03:46

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