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 

Ramsbury 'Castle'

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SU273716
Latitude 51.44250° Longitude -1.60850°

Ramsbury 'Castle' has been described as a probable Palace.

There are no visible remains.


In the early to mid 12th century the Bishops of Salisbury moved their Ramsbury residence to the well-documented site at Ramsbury Manor Park. Prior to that time it is thought that the episcopal residence was located within the settlement, adjacent to the cathedral (Crowley 1983), although there is as yet no archaeological evidence to confirm this. A possible site for this component may lie to the west of the present churchyard, between the church and what is now Burdett Street. Burdett Street was known in the Medieval period as Castle Wall or Castle Street (ibid.), and in this context 'castle', rather than denoting a defensive stronghold, may be derived from the Latin castrum or Old English caester or ceaster, denoting an early political centre or seat of administrative power (Darvill, T.C. 1992. Monuments Protection Programme, Monument evaluation manual, part IV – urban areas, Vol. 2: urban area form descriptions (English Heritage, London)). This theory, based solely on place-name evidence, requires archaeological research to determine the true nature of the site. (Mcmahon p. 11)

If the bishops of Ramsbury had a house near their cathedral in the 11th century it may have been in the village rather than on the site 2 km. east on which the bishops of Salisbury had a palace. The medieval street names Castle Wall, afterwards Whitehouse Lane and Burdett Street, and Old Garden, later Old Orchard and Free Orchard, and the shape of the village, in which the church and vicarage house are within an ellipse, formed by High Street and Back Lane and crossed by Burdett Street, and most settlement is on the periphery, may be evidence of such a house. The names and the shape, however, could be attributed to factors other than the existence of a large house. (VCH 1983)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
    County HER            
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 09:20:08

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