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Bowden Watch Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Dunham Massey; Castle Hill; Yarwood Castle

In the civil parish of Altrincham.
In the historic county of Cheshire.
Modern Authority of Trafford.
1974 county of Greater Manchester.
Medieval County of Cheshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ74858597
Latitude 53.37005° Longitude -2.37937°

Bowden Watch Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Well preserved medieval motte and bailey castle situated on a promontory. The motte is 6m high and 40m broad at the base. It is surrounded by a ditch 5m wide which is 3m deep with a possible original ramp or entrance work on the eastern side. The bailey is on the promontory to the east of the motte. It is an enclosed platform in the shape of a triangle with the eastern side 80m long and the other two sides 60m long. The Motte was excavated in 1976, 1977 and in 1985. These excavations suggest that the motte was speedily erected, possibly during the rebellion of Hammon de Massey against Henry II in 1173. A modern boundary stone lies in the bottom of the ditch on the west side of the motte. (PastScape)

Isolated from settlement but does overlook a crossing point of the River Bollin. The archaeology, history and location do suggest this may well be a military castle, built for the military reason of controlling a river crossing, although that control would allow for tax collection. The baronial castle of Hamon de Masci, mentioned by MacKenzie may well have been 'the mount' at Dunham Massey Hall, which is a manorial centre.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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