The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 


Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Hartham Park; Biddlestone

In the civil parish of Corsham.
In the historic county of Wiltshire.
Modern Authority of Wiltshire.
1974 county of Wiltshire.
Medieval County of Wiltshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST857724
Latitude 51.45023° Longitude -2.20601°

Corsham has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A high mound, probably a medieval castle mound. A water tower stands on top amidst much worked oolite. There are no signs of a bailey or moat (Lindley). Grinsell (VCH) lists this as probably a castle mound, 30 paces in diameter and 10 ft high. (A typographical error in the VCH gives the NGR of this feature for Bushy Barron, Biddestone, ST 87 SE 1). (Lindley; VCH).
The feature is situated in a beech plantation on level ground.
It is described as a tumulus in 1828 (1st edn OS) and in 1837 (Tithe map) was unenclosed and part of Great Rookery field.
The mound, composed of earth and oolite rubble, is 25.0m in diameter at the base, 9.0m across the flat top and 3.4m high, with no trace of a perimeter ditch. A stone and earth ramp running up the Southern side is possibly for access to a massive late 19th or early 20th century water tank set upon cast iron pillars over a bore hole through the mound.
It could be a barrow, a small castle mount, or a medieval mill mound, when the ramp could have been part of the original structure (Field Investigators Comments-F1 NVQ 11-MAY-76).
Dismissed as a motte by Cathcart King who considers it to be the base for a gazebo, there being a mound with gazebo nearby (King). (PastScape)

Hartman may be the site of a DMV and was the site of a medieval manor, the manor house probably being where the Park House stands, so not an entirely unfeasible general location for a castle although clearly this mound is highly questionable as a motte. Is probably the wrong side of Hartman Park House to be a prospect mound (the home farm being in the way) and Gatehouse suspects was a windmill mound. Can be safely rejected as a castle mound on the bases of form (no surrounding ditch or bailey) and location (not the site of a manorial centre).
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:27

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact