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Greeny Castle, Dean

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Green Castle; Glebe Field

In the civil parish of Dean.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY07262510
Latitude 54.61239° Longitude -3.43745°

Greeny Castle, Dean has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such.

There are earthwork remains.


Earthworks in Glebe Field are reputedly those of a castle, but probably archery butts or spoil heaps. (Jackson 1990)

At Dean..." are parallel excavations in a swampy hollow and of oblong-square form"... (Dickinson)
"At the foot of {Park Hill, Dean} are... parallel trenches {which} are parallel excavations, but for what purpose they were constructed remains an enigma. They appear to be much later than the British period, and it has been suggested that they may have been medieval fish-ponds. Their waterlogged condition and proximity to the old church and manor house give colour to this view but the theory is not completely convincing." (Mason and Valetine)
"Probably fishponds" (Rec 6" (KS Hodgson Nov 1947))
Situated at the face of the S.W. slopes of Park Hill are a series of parallel depressions enclosed on the E side by an earthen bank. Two of the depressions run from NE to SW whilst three others are at right angles to them and run from NW to SE. The depressions which are reed covered and marshy underfoot, are separated by earthen banks each of which averages 3m in width by 0.7m in height, and are obviously constructed with the spoil from the depressions. On the western side is a stream, dry at the time of investigation which would serve to feed the ponds formed by the parallel banks. A spring inside the NE corner of the enclosure bank would also appear to serve the same purpose. The earthen bank enclosing the whole site acts as a pond bay preventing the overflow from the open ends of the depression. Mr. T.W. Waite, the owner of the field could offer no information on the nature of the site and there were no significant field names. The banks have no defensive appearances, and as suggested by {Hodgson} are most probably the remains of Md. fishponds (F1 EJ 09-SEP-59). (PastScape)

The complex of earthworks seems to include both fishponds and archery butts. A manor house stood nearby and it maybe that the castle name refereed to this house (with no suggestion that that house was fortified) or to some fanciful story as to the origin of the earthworks or to nearby mound (? dredge from the ponds) being the site for children's game of 'king of castle'.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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