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 

Stowey Castle, Stowey Sutton

In the civil parish of Stowey Sutton.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Bath and North East Somerset.
1974 county of Avon.
Medieval County of Somerset.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST597592
Latitude 51.33104° Longitude -2.58048°

Stowey Castle, Stowey Sutton has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


This is a narrow oval earthwork formed by a bank and ditch cutting off the western end of a spur. There is a small bank on the S. and a scarp around the NW. Quarrying has destroyed all trace of the defences on the N. This earthwork may well be a variation of ring castle (there is no evidence of a motte) but due to the lack of documentary evidence it should also be noted that its situation and configuration are consistent with an Iron Age enclosure. Published survey (1:2500) revised. The small double bank shown on O.S. 25" to the east of the earthwork has been ploughed out. It is probable that this was only a lane or trackway and is unlikely to have been associated with the earthwork (Field Investigators Comments–F1 JP 14-FEB-67).
The possible ringwork ... is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs and has been mapped as part of the Mendip Hills AONB NMP project. The ringwork forms an oval enclosure of which only the south and east sides are visible on the aerial photographs due to dense vegetation cover to the west and north. The south side is defined by a bank measuring about 3m in width and an internal ditch measuring about 7m in width. The bank continues to the NE corner. A later field boundary cuts across the site from ST 5978 5931 to ST 5968 5929. Although no mound is visible as motte on aerial photographs the Bath and North East Somerset SMR describe a partial mound within the wood on the west side of the ringwork which is consistent with this being a motte and bailey site. A narrow bank is visible to the east of the ringwork extending from ST 5987 5928 to ST 5980 5928, this bank may represent a contemporary trackway but its date is unknown. A later ditched trackway is visible to the SE of the ringwork and is likely a later post medieval trackway. The ringwork is still visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs taken in 2007. (PastScape–ref airborne survey)

The topographical location is that of an Iron Age promontory fort but such sites are sometimes reused for a castle (i.e. Castle Neroche) and this is close to the parish church. Called a possible castle by King who used the term 'possible' for sites for which he had significant doubt. Prior (2004) accepts this as a castle and also quotes the scheduling record 'There is a great deal of stone lying around on the surface, inside the enclosure' as evidence for a a later or associated structure. The site has been quarried and the stone inside the enclosure and, possibly, the reported mound may actually represent quarry workings and spoil. Gatehouse has considerable doubt as to this being the site of a medieval castle although it may have had some short term immediate post-Conquest occupation (although there is no evidence of this).
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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 09:21:29

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