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Mount Thorold, Peterborough

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Toot Hill; Tout Hill; Touthill; Mont-Turold; Mount Torold

In the civil parish of Peterborough.
In the historic county of Northamptonshire (Soke of Peterborough).
Modern Authority of Peterborough; City of.
1974 county of Cambridgeshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL19469876
Latitude 52.57355° Longitude -0.23866°

Mount Thorold, Peterborough has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

This mound, apparently that of a motte castle, stands within the garden of the Deanery. It is of no great size or height and there is now no sign of a ditch or of further entrenchments. The ground on which it stands is by nature slightly higher than that to the W, but is not more than 30 ft above the river Nene, which flows E a quarter of a mile to the S. The summit of the mound is flat and measures 42 ft in diameter. The elongation towards the SE may or may not be part of the original plan; it may be a portion of a rampart, or the mound may once have been much larger; as it stands in cultivated ground in the middle of the city, no doubt there have been considerable changes. Grass covers the sides and top, but one or two trees grow on its southern slope. In size it approaches Towcester, Bury Mount and other earthworks in the county. Motte in NE corner of Cathedral Close, on gravel at about 25 ft above OD. Little is known of its date or history, except that, traditionally, it was built by Abbot Thorold of Peterborough (AD 1069 - 1098). It consists of a large circular mound, 120 ft in diameter and 20 ft high, with a flat circular top 35 ft across. Traces of a surrounding ditch survive only on the NW where there is a slight hollow 20 ft wide and 2 ft deep. This mound stands in the Garden of the Deanery and was said to have been raised by Abbot Thorold 1069 - 1098 as a defence against his own monks and dismantled by Martin de Bec. This is a small motte castle. In excellent condition. The motte is approximately 10 - 12m high, diameter difficult to assess. It is covered in grass, bluebells, cow parsley, shrubs and supports a large chestnut, sycamore and conifer. The summit is flat and bears a stone marker. A path marked by slates lies on the S face. There is a ramp on the S side. The remainder of the area is to the W and S under lawn and flower beds. The walls surrounding the area are in reasonable condition, ivy covered in places. A few new trees have been planted to replace those felled. This has caused minimal disturbance. (City of Peterborough HER)

Thorold or Turold, a Norman monk of Fescamp, was made ab- bot by William the Norman Bastard, in order to oppose le Wake, who took the abbot prisoner, and ransomed him for thirty marks. About the same time the Danes under king Sweyn made a predatory incursion into the eastern district, and proceeded from Ely to Peterburgh. They began their attack on the Abbey near Bolehiihe gate, probably situated near the upper extremity of a ditch now called Bell Dyke. At this place the friars fought with such valour as to repel their enemies, who, unable to force an entrance, set fire to the houses, and thus succeeded in their object. The whole town, except one house, and all the out-buildings belonging to the Abbey, being consumed by fire, the plunderers entered the sacred edifice, and carried off all its ornaments and vessels of precious metal. To prevent any further attack of the Danes, abbot Turold raised a mound on the north side of the Abbey, and erected a tower upon it. This mound, a considerable part of which still remains, was anciently called Mount Turold, and now known by the name of Tout-hill. (Storer 1814)
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This record last updated on Saturday, July 26, 2014

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