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Oxted Barrow Green

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Mount; Barogrene; The Bergh

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

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ38035272
Latitude 51.25706° Longitude -0.02349°

Oxted Barrow Green has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The Mount has been interpreted in the past as a burial mound but more recent observers have identified it as a Norman motte castle. The monument includes the whole of the steep-sided mound, which has a diameter of some 60m and stands 9m above the level of the surrounding land. The small, flat top is likely to have provided the site for a single building or tower and a palisade fence may have bounded this area. The motte is unusual in appearing not to have been surrounded by a ditch. Little is known of the history of the monument. The local name of Barrow Green may indicate a folk tradition that the site was a burial mound, but equally it might refer to the nearby rabbit-infested woods known as Coney Burrow. The nearby Barrow Green Court was built or rebuilt in the early 17th century, at which time the Mount may have been altered to provide views of the associated gardens as was fashionable at the time - a map of 1762 shows the Mount to have been at the end of a long avenue of trees. (Scheduling Report)

The Mount, Barrow Green, Oxted, is a very large bowl-shaped mound about 200 ft. in diameter and perhaps 30 ft high. On the top is a flat area about 20 ft. in diam. Its nature is very doubtful; it may be a natural rise converted to a barrow, but is believed to be very largely natural (Grinsell, 1934). The feature was excavated in 1869 by J. Wickham Flower (Levenson-Gower, 1874) whom, Eliza Miller (VCH p. 312) considers came to the too hasty conclusion that it was entirely natural. There is a distinct ditch round it and flint flakes (Johnson and Wright) were found by the excavators. There is no natural explanation for loose sand being piled up in a circular heap upon the harder sand-stone unless for some artificial purpose (VCH p. 312). Considered by Clinch and Montgomerie (VCH, p. 395) to be a Class D earthwork, i.e. a motte. Scheduled under 'Castles & Fortifications'. The Mount, a conical mound of sand some 66.0 m. in diameter at the base and 9.0 m. in height with a flat top 5.0 m. in diameter. There is no trace of the ditch noted by Johnson and Wright. While there can be no doubt it is almost entirely natural in its present tree covered condition it is impossible to say if it is completely so. Its proximity to the early 17th c. Barrow Green Court suggests that it might have been ornamentally scarped and perhaps heightened (F1 FGA 12-JUL-65). (PastScape)

A large bowl-shaped mound c61m in diameter and c9m high, known as “The Mount” (SMR No 1246, Scheduled Ancient Monument No 12780), is located at Barrow Green c700m north-west of Old Oxted and was depicted on the 1408 map of the Manor of Oxted as 'The Barrow Castle Mound' (fig 3). Although the mound has the appearance of a possible Bronze Age barrow, it is most probably a largely natural feature. This appears to have been established by a small excavation that was undertaken by the Surrey Archaeological Society in 1870 which seems to have demonstrated that the mound was a natural feature with an artificial covering of c1m of soil (Lowther 1954, 20-1). (Extensive Urban Survey)

The 'more recent' observers identifying this site as a motte seems actually to be the VCH of 1912, who may have been influenced by the then novel concept of the Norman motte. There does not seem to be an identifiably bailey. The scant excavations done do not seem to report medieval finds. All in all the evidence for this being a motte is weak.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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