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Ascott under Wychwood 3

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ascot Doilly; Ascot d'Oilly; Ascott d'Oyley

In the civil parish of Ascott under Wychwood.
In the historic county of Oxfordshire.
Modern Authority of Oxfordshire.
1974 county of Oxfordshire.
Medieval County of Oxfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP30521934
Latitude 51.87187° Longitude -1.55807°

Ascott under Wychwood 3 has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Watching brief during the initial stages of construction of a lake (at SP 30 19) did not yield any finds from a machine-stripped area of 3600 square metres. On 'U' shaped ditch was revealed, but without dating evidence. The ditch is on same alignment as the present boundary to the NE, and so may represent a fairly recent field boundary. (Oxford Archaeology Unit, 1992)
Field inspection by D Benson in 1969 revealed a number of sherds, possibly C12th/C13th date, together with patches of reddened clay, on top of what is presumed to be the motte. This is now no more than about 1m high from the rest of the surrounding field. Farm workers from Ascott however remember it being much higher. There is a considerable slope down to the river at this point and the field boundary on the SW side swings out to accommodate the base of the mound. To the N there is a considerable depression, particularly near the river, which would seem to fit in well with the idea of an inner bailey ditch. The field is regularly ploughed. (Benson 1971)
Cropmarks on FAS APs seem to indicate the site of a possible motte and bailey castle. Field visit by D Benson in 1961. (South Midlands Archaeology, 1993). (Oxfordshire HER)

A third possible site has since been suggested from the evidence of vertical aerial photographes taken in June 1961, which show a very distinct and characteristic figure-of-eight cropmark near the river some 360m. to the north-east of the motte at Ascot d'Oilly. ... The third site might be a short-lived product of some particular conflict rather than anything intended as a permanent stronghold or residence. ... The more likely hypothesis is that the third site was not directly contemporary with its neighbours, but was a temporary and short-lived predecessor abandoned in favour of one of the other sites (presumably Acott d'Oilly, that being the nearer). (Bond)

Given the nature of Ascott d'Oilly, a stone tower from the start, the idea that this was a precursor site to that castle, providing a base and secure place for builders and building materials while the masonry castle was built is not unreasonably although the site may now be too damaged to prove this hypothesis.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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