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Beoley; The Mount

In the civil parish of Beoley.
In the historic county of Worcestershire.
Modern Authority of Worcestershire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Worcestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP06556940
Latitude 52.32304° Longitude -1.90585°

Beoley; The Mount has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Flat topped mound, 250ft by 350ft, and surrounded by a large ditch circa 20ft deep with a causeway on the north side. The ditch has been mutilated by large scale clay digging and the top has been ploughed, the plough lines running over the causeway into the interior. The site has been interpreted as a Medieval motte, but it has also been suggested that it can be identified with the 'Burhleahe' or 'camp clearing' mentioned in a charter of 972, and is a pre-Saxon, probably prehistoric, earthwork situated on a gravel cap. Unoccupied during the Saxon period it may have been re-utilised as a minor strong point during C13, subsequently developed as the manor house/hunting lodge of the Beauchamps during the Medieval period and was possibly abandoned in C14. It was recorded by Nash in C18 that 'the last vestiges of the ruins of a castle' could still be seen about 1780. (PastScape)

There is some field and documentary evidence that suggests a pre-Saxon probably prehistoric earthwork which is represented by a small enclosure at The Mount, Beoley. The irregular shape precludes Roman origin despite the proximity to Ryknield Street. The Great Charter of Edgar confirming lands of the monastery of SS. Peter and Paul at Pershore in 972 mentions the 'Burhleahe' or camp clearing as a landmark at this time. However, the site's position below the summit and the irregular shape could also point to cattle enclosures in line with other similar sites. Unoccupied in the Saxon period, it was probably a minor strongpoint in the 13th century. It was subsequently developed as a manor house /hunting lodge of the Beauchamps in the early medieval period, but apparently burnt down in 1303. Later a court and grange belonging to the family may have been sited here. Possible reuse of the enclosure in the 13th century disturbances, notably the Barons War, though no indication of a major defensive site at this time. At a later date, possibly in the 14th century the site was deserted. Later still the site interior was taken over for agricultural use, though ridge and furrow evidence suggests that this was not medieval. Finally used periodically as a marl pit. (Worcestershire and Worcester City HER ref Whitehead 1970)

Nash mentions that the Beachamps had a seat in Beoley which burnt down in 1303 and Habingdon mentions a castle in Beoley 'now in ruins'. These two statements are generally taken to refer to The Mount. However, they could equally refer to WSM38684. WSM38684 lies c1km to the east and is a large moated platform c.120m x 120m It lies at the top of a promontary and commands good views in all directions. The mount lies half way up a promontary and whilst it commands good views to the south, east and west, it is over-shadowed by the brow of the hill to the north. The Mount is clearly a substantial moated site and must have been important at one time, but may not date to the Iron Age as the Scheduling indicates. (Worcestershire and Worcester City HER ref. personal comment Emma Hancox 2005)

Apparently much damaged by marl quarrying but topographically seems to be a motte and bailey close to the parish church.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:10

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