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Cockermouth Tute Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Toot Hill

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY12453077
Latitude 54.66447° Longitude -3.35884°

Cockermouth Tute Hill has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


A little east of Cockermouth Castle is a supposed Tumulus called Tute Hill; there are however many natural mounds of gravel in the vicinity. (Not in Collingwoods Inventory of Cumberland. CW2 23 251) (Ward).
A steep sided flat-topped ditchless mound 2.8m. high now under pasture. It appears artificial but its proportions are smaller than the natural mounds in the vicinity, and suggest a windmill mound rather than a barrow. (Field Investigators Comments–F1 RL 18-APR-66).
Scheduled as Tute Hill motte; an oval earthern mound measuring approximately 18.7m east-west by 16.6m north-south and up to 3m high. It is strategically located on a plateau close to the confluence of the Rivers Cocker and Derwent and would have been constructed during the early/mid-12th century, but was quickly superseded by the present Cockermouth Castle (English Heritage SAM Amendment 10.5.95). (PastScape)

At the north end of the town is a tumulus, or artificial mount, called Toot Hill (Mannix and Whellan)

Tute Hill is a Scheduled Monument and is thought to have been constructed during the 12th century. Although it has been suggested that it may have been a motte, Winchester (pers. comm 2001) suggests that 'tute' means 'look-out'. (Extensive Urban Survey)

This Scheduling record is much more positive than Perriam & Robinson who write 'possible motte or windmill'. If this is the precursor to Cockermouth then it's history is given in the sources given for Cockermouth castle though all those sources presume that Cockermouth was built upon it's earthwork precursor. What happen between 1966, when considered a windmill mound, and 1995 when scheduled as a motte? On the edge of an area called Deer Orchard with other 'park' names close by suggesting this may be a deer park viewing mound. The real problem with the suggestion that this is a motte is what would be the reason for not using the castle site from the first?
Because of the scheduling report recorded in Gatehouse as 'possible' although rather more questionable than is usually for that category.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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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.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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