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Walton on the Hill, Leatherhead

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Court Ditch

In the civil parish of Leatherhead.
In the historic county of Surrey.
Modern Authority of Surrey.
1974 county of Surrey.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ22205513
Latitude 51.28221° Longitude -0.24922°

Walton on the Hill, Leatherhead has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

This is a flat-topped mound in the grounds of Walton Place (a 13th century manor house). It is suggested to be a tumulus or moot hill, and measures 35 by 32 yards and is less than 12 feet high. There are traces of a ditch. Stone foundations have been found on the mound. To the south of it is a possible fragment of a moat, called Court Ditch. Possibly a Norman motte. (SHHER)

The Mound was originally identified as a burial mound but more recent survey has identified it as a Motte, albeit of unusual form, of early post-Conquest date. It includes a large and flat-topped earthen mound at least partly-enclosed by a ditch which is easily visible on the south and south-east sides. The mound itself measures some 33m by 30m in overall diameter, of which the central 21- 23m is the flat top. The mound stands some 2.4m above the level of the surrounding land. The sides slope steeply, especially on the northern side where some alteration to the mound is likely to have accompanied the construction of the access road to Walton Place. The surviving part of the ditch is similarly steeply-sided and drops to a level some 1.5m below the surrounding ground. It has a maximum width of 9m. On all but the southern and south-eastern sides any ditch around the mound has been infilled to facilitate access to the neighbouring buildings of the medieval manor house. Little is known of the history of the mound. The manor of Walton was held by Richard de Tonbridge soon after the Conquest and later by Gilbert de Clare, both of whom are known to be prolific castle builders, but it was also owned by the Carew family in the early 17th century at which time the manor house was extensively rebuilt. The Mound may have been remodelled to form a prospect mount from which to view a formal garden during this period, accounting for its unusual form. Stone foundations of unknown date have been reported, although none are visible today. (Scheduling Report)

it is steep-sided but under 12 feet in greatest height, and has a flat top in diameter about 35 yards from north to south by 32 from east to west, and there are traces of the ditch at the foot of the mound from which the earth was dug to raise it. Mr. W. R. Malcolm, the owner of what is probably a considerable portion of the demesne of the ancient manor, says that hewn stone has been found in shallow excavations in this earthwork, although no systematic exploration seems ever to have been carried out. Considering this, it is a question if there may not have been some fortified structure raised on the top at an early period to dominate the position. (Stebbing)

The reported stone foundations, in shallow ditches, may represent the basic footings for a post-Medieval summer house on the mound rather than a substantial tower since these have disappeared so readily.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated on Saturday, July 26, 2014

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