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Bletchley Castle Hill

In the civil parish of Moreton Say.
In the historic county of Shropshire.
Modern Authority of Shropshire.
1974 county of Shropshire.
Medieval County of Shropshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SJ621336
Latitude 52.89816° Longitude -2.56383°

Bletchley Castle Hill has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.


The field immediately to the W of Bletchley Manor was recorded as Castle Hill on the 1840 Tithe Award Map. It is a natural hill overlooking the Bailey Brook to the W, and appears to have been roughly circular before the N half of the top of the hill was cut away by the realignment of the A41. It does, however, appear to have been artificially modified and altered, particularly on its S side, where a natural gully running from the valley bottom up the side of the hill has been continued and widened so as to form an artificial ditch cutting off the top of the hill from the adjacent ground to the S and E. This ditch is up to c 1m deep and 4m wide, but both narrows and shallows at its E end where it curves round with only a slight inner scarp surviving. This ditch may have served as a defensive feature for the hilltop, whose natural slopes would have proved sufficient on its W side. All trace of it to the N has gone due to the new road cutting. It may represent the remnants of a former earthwork castle site, perhaps the predecessor of adjacent Bletchley Manor. However, the surviving portion of the hilltop does not show any further traces of fortification or habitation, and the line of the ditch is shown as a trackway on the TA map. It could therefore simply be the holloway of a former track. (Michael D. Watson visit notes for Shropshire SMR 1983)

The location is not inconsistent with a possible castle site and place-names may well be significant. A small natural hill adapted as a motte, mainly symbolic of the knightly status of the tenants of the adjacent farmstead, may have had a simple tower not much used and leaving little remains while the main residence will have been in the bailey in buildings constantly renewed and replaced leaving no trace of the original early medieval stages. The tenants, who took there name from the place, were of recorded knightly status by the C13.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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