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Godstone Castle Hill

In the civil parish of Godstone.
In the historic county of Surrey.
Modern Authority of Surrey.
1974 county of Surrey.
Medieval County of Surrey.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ36325082
Latitude 51.24028° Longitude -0.048519°

Godstone Castle Hill has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A promontory fort situated on a spur which projects to the west from a sandstone hill around 1.4km to the south east of Godstone. The promontory fort's defences were constructed across the neck of the spur and survive as a NNE-SSW aligned, approximately 110m long, curving bank around 15m wide and 2.6m high, flanked to the east by an outer ditch up to 15m wide and 1.4m deep. The eastern edge of the ditch has been destroyed by the construction of the modern A22 Godstone bypass during the mid-1980s, and this area is therefore not included in the scheduling. Access to the interior of the fort was provided by a simple gap at the south western end of the ramparts. Contemporary buildings, storage pits and associated structures and features will have covered much of the steeply-sided spur top, and traces of these can be expected to survive in the form of below ground archaeological features. During World War II, the monument was used as an aircraft observation post, represented by a small trench dug into the southern sector of the monument. (Scheduling Report)

On Castle Hill, by Leigh Place, are traces of a bank and ditch, among trees and underwood, on the east side of the hill. These possibly represent St. John's fortified house of Walkhampstead. Several barrows are said to have existed, and two still remain near it, one injured by the road and both apparently rifled. (VCH)

Called a Ringwork by King.
Excavation in 1982 reports no finds. The location overlooking the A22, a main road from the south coast to London, gives this site some strategic value. This does not seem to be a manorial centre despite the speculation in the VCH ('St. John's fortified house of Walkhampstead' was probably Lagham Manor). There seems little doubt this was an Iron Age construction, although that does not excluded temporary medieval use as a campaign camp. However there is no evidence of any medieval occupation.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:52

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