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 

Chipping Warden

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Chipping Wardon; Castle Yard

In the civil parish of Chipping Warden.
In the historic county of Northamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough.
Modern Authority of Northamptonshire.
1974 county of Northamptonshire.
Medieval County of Northamptonshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP50174837
Latitude 52.13137° Longitude -1.26847°

Chipping Warden has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


At Chipping Wardon (sic) a small castle is said to have stood S.E. of the village, between an ancient burial-place and "the Black Grounds." (Mackenzie - located in Oxfordshire)

Moat (SP 501483), lay on the S.E. side of the village, close to the R. Cherwell, on Lower Lias Clay at 105m. above OD. From plans made before destruction, the site appears to have been a simple moated enclosure of roughly rectangular form. Air photographs show slight traces of what appears to be ridge-and-furrow on the island. Water entered the moat near its N.E. corner and returned to the R. Cherwell by a large ditch on the S.E. side. In 1809 the area was known as Castle Yard but nothing is known of its history. (RCHME)

The site of the castle, or baronial residence of the ancient lords, is indicated by earthworks, S of Chipping Warden church, in the grounds between the entrance lodge to Edgcote and the mansion (Baker).
This feature has been ploughed out and the field returned to pasture. Nothing of interest remains to be seen, and no finds have been reported. (F1 BHS 21-APR-70). (PastScape)

Chipping Wardon does appear to have been an alternative spelling of Chipping Warden in C16. There is a round earthwork called Arbury Camp said to be "presumably of iron age date" surrounded by medieval field system at SP494486, although this is S.W. of the village. This has a mound on the southern rampart, called 'windmill mound' in PastScape. However, it would seem Mackenzie and Baker were referring to a square moat shown on the 1st edition OS map at the given map reference, still visible as a cropmark on the air photo and approximately 100m each side as shown on the 1884 2500 OS map. This is larger than would be expected of sub-manorial homestead moat. This is sometimes suggested as a Norman castle (Beesley) but the form, a square moat, is not that of Norman castle.
Chipping Warden was an important centre, a caput of Guy de Reimbercourt (Reinbuedcurt) and centre of an eponymous Hundred. The lack of remains, even in the C18, does not suggest a strongly built castle so, presumably, a fortified manor house. The manor house of Chippen Warden still survives beside the village church, although the remains there are C16 and later, but on location only, that must be the original manorial centre. The barony of Chipping Warden was a small and somewhat impoverished holding. However it may still have had the money to build a new and fashionable house somewhat outside the village in the C13/C14. This leaves questions as to the reason to return to the original house. Was the new house ever completed? Was it too large and expensive to run?
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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 09:20:07

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