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Culworth Berry Close Hill

In the civil parish of Culworth.
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: SP54454700
Latitude 52.11849° Longitude -1.20616°

Culworth Berry Close Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The Castle Ringwork at Berry Hill, Culworth, is one of seven surviving ringworks in Northamptonshire and has documentary evidence for its origins. The site also forms part of an unusual cluster of ringworks, as Culworth, Weedon Lois, Canons Ashby and Sulgrave, all lie within 5kms of each other. The earthworks survive well and the monument will contain evidence concerning the development of the site and its relationship with the other ringworks nearby.
The castle ringwork at Culworth is situated at Berry Hill. It is located at the south eastern end of the village and lies immediately to the north of St Mary's church, which has Norman origins. The ringwork has a roughly circular bank about 3m high which encloses a central area about 25m across. The interior of the ringwork is slightly raised above the surrounding ground level and has some irregularities suggesting the presence of buried structures. On the western side, the ringwork bank is lower which may indicate the entrance to the interior. The ringwork is encompassed by a ditch 2m deep and up to 6m wide. The ditch has been altered in the south east corner by work on the Old Rectory garden in the last century and the churchyard has cut into the western ditch. On the northern side of the ringwork there are traces of a slight outer bank. It is recorded in Domesday that this area was held by Landric of Ghilo. It is known too that he held part of Sulgrave, and that Sulgrave was associated with Weedon Lois. Ringworks are preserved at all three sites. (Scheduling Report)

Ringwork (SP 544470; Figs. 12 and 44; Plate 5), known as Berry Hill, lies immediately N. of the church, towards the S.E. end of the village, on Northampton Sand at 165 m. above OD. The modern village of Culworth is made up of at least two discrete settlements, Culworth and Brime. Brime has been identified as the S.E. part of the village which includes the church and the ringwork. In 1086 Brime was held by Landric of Gilo (VCH Northants., 1 (1902), 344). Landric also held part of Sulgrave of Gilo and Gilo himself held Weedon Lois. These three adjacent villages have similar ringworks (Sulgrave, Weston and Weedon) and all may date from the same period. Only the one at Sulgrave has been excavated.
The site consists of a simple ringwork with no visible outer bailey. It is almost exactly circular, surrounded by a wide ditch up to 1.75 m. deep below the natural ground surface outside and up to 3.5 m. deep below the inner ramparts. The Old Rectory garden has encroached upon the ditch on the S.E. and largely destroyed it. The circular flat top of the mound is bounded, except on the W., by an inner bank or rampart, nowhere more than 0.5 m. high. In the S.E. corner this rampart has been cut away, apparently in the mid 19th century, as part of the improvements to the garden of the adjoining Old Rectory. The rest of the interior is flat and featureless. The field in which the ringwork stands was known as Bury Close in 1839 (NRO, Tithe Map). (CUAP, ABW93; VCH Northants., II (1906), 404; G. Baker, Hist. of Northants., I (1822–30), 607). (RCHME)

Ringwork of similar form, and possibly associated with, those at Sulgrave and Weedon Lois.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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