A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Back to list 

Cainhoe Castle, Clophill

In the civil parish of Clophill.
In the historic county of Bedfordshire.
Modern Authority of Bedfordshire.
1974 county of Bedfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL098374
Latitude 52.02443° Longitude -0.40115°

Cainhoe Castle, Clophill has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Motte and bailey complex. The motte incorporates a natural sandstone outcrop standing 11m above the floodplain. It is 60m wide at the base and the flat top is 10m in diameter. Three irregularly shaped baileys are separated from the motte by a ditch. Cainhoe was the centre of the Barony of Cainhoe, held by the d'Aubigny family from the Conquest until the mid C13. No castle is mentioned in 1272 when the male line had been extinguished and the estate divided. By 1374, the fortifications were ruinous. (PastScape)

Excavated in 1973 and 1985-6.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path   NLS maps  
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   EarthTools   GeoHack  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   Flashearth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
  • Websites (Gatehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
  • Books
    • Petre, James Scott, 2012, The Castles of Bedfordshire (Lavenham: Lavenham Press for Shaun Tyas) p. 56-62 (plan)
      Lowerre, A.G., 2008, 'Why here and not there? The Location of Early Norman Castles in the South-East East Midlands' in C.P. Lewis (ed), Anglo-Norman Studies 29. Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2006 (Woddbridge) p. 126
      Edgeworth, M., 2007, 'The Medieval Period' in M. Oake et al, Bedfordshire Archaeology. Research and Archaeology: Resource Assessment, Research Agenda and Strategy (Bedfordshire Archaeology Monograph 9) p. 99
      Lowerre, A.G., 2005, Placing Castles in the Conquest. Landscape, Lordship and Local Politics in the South-Eastern Midlands, 1066-1100 (Oxford: John and Erica Hedges Ltd: BAR British Series 385) p. 127-8
      Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 13
      Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 3
      Brown, R.Allen, 1989, Castles from the Air (Cambridge University Press) p. 69-70
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 5
      Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 198
      Bigmore, P., 1979, Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire Landscape (London: Hodder and Stoughton, The Making of the English Landscape Series) p. 99
      Godber, J., 1969, History of Bedfordshire (Bedford) p. 23
      Wadmore, Beauchamp, 1920, The Earthworks of Bedfordshire (Bedford) p. 95-7
      Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
      Page, Wm (ed), 1908, VCH Bedfordshire Vol. 2 p. 324 online transcription
      Goddard, A.R., 1904, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Doubleday, H.Arthur and Page, Wm (eds), VCH Bedfordshire Vol. 1 p. 291-2
      Mackenzie, J.D., 1897, Castles of England Vol. 1 p. 139 online copy
  • Periodical Articles
    • 1987, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 17 p. 27 online copy
      Baker, David, 1983, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 13 p. 3 online copy
      1982, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 12 p. 17 online copy
      Baker, D., 1982, 'Cainhoe Castle' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 139 p. 32-4
      Baker, D., 1982, 'Mottes, Moats and ringworks in Bedfordshire: Beauchamp Wadmore revisited' Château Gaillard Vol. 9-10 p. 35-54 (plan)
      1978, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 8 p. 36 online copy
      1977, South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 7 p. 40 online copy
      Taylor, A.J. and Woodward, P., 1975, 'Cainhoe Castle excavations 1973' Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 10 p. 41-52
      Taylor, A. and Woodward, P., 1974, 'Cainhoe Castle, Clophill, Bedfordshire' South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 4 p. 14 online copy
      Dyer, J.F., 1962-3, 'Bedfordshire Earthworks VIII, The Castles: Part One' Bedfordshire magazine Vol. 8 no. 63 p. 270-1
      Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 199 online copy
  • Other sources: Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
    • Lowerre, A.G., 2004, Placing Castles in the Conquest. Landscape, Lordship and Local Politics in the South-Eastern Midlands, 1066-1100 (PhD thesis: Boston College) p. 444-46
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 English Heritage, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. 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 on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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