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Piercebridge

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Carlbury

In the civil parish of High Coniscliffe.
In the historic county of Durham.
Modern Authority of Durham.
1974 county of County Durham.
Medieval County of County Palatinate of Durham.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ21881601
Latitude 54.53889° Longitude -1.66333°

Piercebridge has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.

Description

Butler suggests a low mound here is a potential castle site.
Comments

Gatehouse is not certain as to what Butler is referring but suspects, based on the sketch map in the article, he might mean a mound described as "Probable Bronze Age round barrow surviving as a plough-reduced earthwork. Slightly elongated mound, probably a large bowl barrow, measuring 38.5m in north to south diameter and 3m high and 42m in east to west diameter and 1.7m high, with no visible ditch"
This seems a very unlikely castle site as it would be easier to build a castle within the Roman fort of Piercebridge where a settlement did exist and which was better sited to control the medieval crossing. (NB The Roman bridge, of which some remains survive, was not the medieval crossing site).
Butler suggested a number of possible small sites, associated with Roman roads, on the boundary of the Honour of Richmond which attributed to the conquest and consolidation period of the newly formed lordship. In fact most of these sites do not appear to have medieval use and his argument about the way Norman authority was established in Richmondshire is probably incorrect.
The suggestion that some early castle were built to control river crossings is made elsewhere (notably by Mary Higham for North Lancashire) but the actual evidence is often weak, certainly for England. This may suggest such sites were early, flimsy and soon abandoned or that the theory is flawed. However, few such sites have been thoroughly investigated.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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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. 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.
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This record last updated on Friday, July 17, 2015

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