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Gumley Cat Gruff

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Danes Camp; The Mot; The Mount

In the civil parish of Gumley.
In the historic county of Leicestershire.
Modern Authority of Leicestershire.
1974 county of Leicestershire.
Medieval County of Leicestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP67888989
Latitude 52.50282° Longitude -1.00139°

Gumley Cat Gruff has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The motte comprises a flat-topped, circular mound approximately 40m in diameter and 4m tall with an area of about 15m across the top. The surrounding ditch is very silted and has a width of 5-6m and generally less than 0.5m deep. A levelled area up to 9m exists outside the motte ditch, after which the ground falls away sharply on all sides except the east. (PastScape–scheduling report)

The mound occupies the southern end of a spur. It is bowl-shaped, with a flat top, c.20.0m in average diameter. It is surrounded by a ditch, 3.0m wide and 0.3m deep; and is under grass and trees. The mound is known locally as The Mount and regarded as an antiquity though without exact definition as to its reputed purpose (a). Its position, size and profile suggest it may be a motte; although no evidence of a bailey was found. However, it is placed in former parkland, with ornamental lakes to the south and north-west, and it is possible that it is a comparatively recent gazebo-mound or ornamental landscaping. (PastScape–Field Investigators Comments-W C Woodhouse/28-MAR-1960/Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Field Investigator)

The mound is just outside but still close to village, so may represent a more prominent and better fortified manorial centre than the probable Saxon original, although this scenario is rare. Creighton considers it likely to be a prospect mound despite it being scheduled as a motte. The Scheduling does report that there was a possible moated site to the south, contemporary with the motte which has been levelled. If so the mound would be rather less isolated in the medieval landscape but such a form - isolated motte near to but not adjacent to a moated site - whilst not unknown is rare. In such a circumstance the motte can really only have function as a symbolic feature. Later adaptation as a prospect mound is not excluded by such a scenario.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:48

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