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St Mary Cray Hockenden

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Birch Wood

In the civil parish of Bromley.
In the historic county of Kent.
Modern Authority of London Borough of Bromley.
1974 county of Greater London.
Medieval County of Kent.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ50166893
Latitude 51.39953° Longitude 0.15722°

St Mary Cray Hockenden has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are uncertain remains.


Identified as a ringwork rejected by King as too weak and probably a millstead.

(TQ 50156892) A small ringwork, similar to Sweyn's Camp, Swanscombe (See TQ 57 SE 9 - now destroyed,) in Birch Wood. The wood has been cleared and cultivated as a small-holding. Probably a "motte" (Hogg). A large circular mound situated on the tip of a prominent, exposed spur that extends in a south-westerly direction from the main ridge at a height of approx. 225 ft. O.D. The mound is heavily overgrown with small trees and bracken, it measures approx 23.0m in diameter and 1.5m in height, and in the flat top there is a large saucer-shaped depression. The mound was originally surrounded by a ditch of which only traces survive, mainly in the SW quadrant. This feature is rather small for a motte, its position and appearance suggest a Windmill Mound; "Windmill Hill Wood' to the south seems to confirm this (F1 CFW 30-NOV-60). This mound is of a slightly elongated form with the long axis N-S. It has diameters of 27m & 23m, and is 1.5m high, with a hollow 3m across and 0.5m deep in an otherwise flattish top. A shallow ditch, 3m wide and from 0.1m to 0.3m deep, can be traced around the W and S sides. There are indications of an excavation trench from top to bottom of the mound on the SW but it does not extend across the ditch. As suggested by F1 CFW 30-NOV-60 it is most probably a windmill mound (F3 NVQ 24-OCT-86). (PastScape)

A large circular mound c. 23m diameter and 1.5m high, situated on a prominent exposed spur. In the flat top there is a large saucer-shaped depression. Originally surrounded by a ditch of which traces survive. Small for a motte: shape, position and name suggest it is a windmill mound. (Greater London HER)

The site remains under tree cover but the surrounding landscape is being damaged by main road to east and dirt motorsports courses to south.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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