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 

Burcomb Wood, North Poorton

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of North Poorton.
In the historic county of Dorset.
Modern Authority of Dorset.
1974 county of Dorset.
Medieval County of Dorset.

OS Map Grid Reference: SY51159883
Latitude 50.78711° Longitude -2.69405°

Burcomb Wood, North Poorton 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.


A hillfort, situated on a triangular shaped spur, connected at its narrow end or apex to the main hill. The simple defences consist of a transverse ditch across the narrow end, and the scarping of the remaining three sides of the spur some 12-20 ft below the top, to form a berm. The scarping is least pronounced on the N. slope There are no traces of a ditch, but traces of a slight rampart exist at the W. side of the earthwork. "Just beyond the transverse ditch on the E is a short length of rampart along the crest of the narrow causeway-like end of the spur, and immediately S. of the same is a roughly triangular berm which has a slight ditch at its W. end", divided from the main transverse ditch by a slight bank. Half way along the S. side of the earthwork, on the berm, is a slight transverse bank of uncertain date. Within the enclosure are traces of an irregular mound which may be largely natural (RCHME). The description contained in RCHME is generally correct though the classification as a hillfort is questionable partly because the earthwork is so small. Though defences are in Iron Age style the point is not conclusive since whatever the age of the site scarping the hillside and throwing a ditch across the narrow neck would be the obvious method of protection. The site is in a topographically strong position. The interior is composed of black soil in contrast to the light brown natural soil of the area. In almost all of the innumerable molehills fragments of split bones - apparently of animals - were found. Many of the bones had been burned. The site is grass covered and there were no pottery finds, or signs of occupation. C is an irregular mound which shows traces of stone work. It has an average height of 0.5m. The average drop of the scarp in the North is 4.0m and in the South it varies from 5.0 to 7.0m. The average inner height of the bank in the west is 0.6m. The bank is much broken. The entrance is in the East where the ditch has been cut through the spur. It is partly hewn through rock and has a rough and unfinished appearance. An adequate water supply is available in the streams to the north and to the south of the site. From the general uneven appearance of the interior and the entrance it seems almost certain that this earthwork is post Roman (Field Investigators Comments-F1 JR 27-APR-55). (PastScape)

Site recorded as medieval castle in PastScape.
Recorded in Dorset HER (and ? Scheduling report) as Iron Age hill fort. Only 800m from parish church but no roads or footpaths go to this feature. Not recorded as a castle by any of the usual castle authorities. Requires investigation but Gatehouse suspects IA farmstead with some minor medieval agricultural, or possibly hunting, reuse.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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 09:21:29

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