Historic Environment Record images

MSO8841 - Bury Castle, Brompton Regis

ENPHER Number:MSO8841
Name:Bury Castle, Brompton Regis
Type of Record:Monument
Grid Reference:SS 9384 2695
Parish:BROMPTON REGIS, WEST SOMERSET, SOMERSET

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Summary

Bury Castle, on a spur end, overlooks the junction of the Rivers Exe and Haddeo. It is a series of earthworks forming an oval enclosure of probable Iron Age origin, with a small motte believed to be of the early 12th Century at its southern end.

Images

Bury Castle. 2005  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Bury Castle. 2005 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Bury Castle. 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Bury Castle. 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Bury Castle. 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Bury Castle. 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Motte in Bury Castle from the east, 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Motte in Bury Castle from the east, 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Northern bailey of Bury Castle from the west, 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Northern bailey of Bury Castle from the west, 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Northwestern rampart and ditch of Bury Castle from the south, 2009  © Exmoor National Park Authority

Northwestern rampart and ditch of Bury Castle from the south, 2009 © Exmoor National Park Authority

Monument Types

  • ENCLOSURE (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD (Unclassified))
  • HILLFORT (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD (Unclassified))
  • MOTTE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Unclassified))
  • MOTTE AND BAILEY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD (Unclassified))

Designated Status

  • Scheduled Monument 1006170: Bury Castle

Description

Bury Castle Camp is marked at SS93852698. [1]

Bury Castle stands above the junctions of the River Exe with its tributary the Haddeo, at the end of a high ridge running north and south. It is oval in shape, the apex pointing southwest, and the base northeast. Its maximum length and breadth is about 120 x 80 yards. The apex, where the entrance is found, is occupied by a mount with an enclosing ditch, and the camp might be classed with mount and base court forts, but the mount is very small as compared with the area of the enclosure. Hillfort Class B. [2]

This is a motte and bailey castle. It was re-surveyed at 1:2500. [3]

Bury Castle, at SS 939270, is scheduled as Somerset 342, listed under 'Camps and Settlements'. [4]

There is a possible entrance on the southeast. The outer banks are up to 8 metres high on the north of the earthwork, but generally between 1.8 and 5 metres high on the southwest. The motte is circled with its own ditch and rises some 4 to 5 metres high. The oval bailey extends over 100 metres. It is a possible reuse of an early Iron Age fortification. [7]

The site is apparently undocumented, but it is suggested that it was probably built by William de Say before 1144, the year of his death. [8]

Bury Castle was surveyed in June 1996 at 1:1000 scale, as part of RCHME's East Exmoor Project and at the request of the Exmoor National Park Authority. It is believed that the site is a resused late prehistoric defended enclosure. The prehistoric enclosure measures 85 metres north to south, by 58 metres east to west, and is enclosed by a bank up to 4 metres high. There is no sign of an entrance and this was probably blocked in the medieval period. The motte is 23 metres diameter, placed over the ramparts, and with a ditch 6 metres wide encircling it. [9-11]

The earthworks comprise an oval enclosure, presumably of Iron Age date. Built onto the south end of the prehistoric ramparts is a small motte, possibly built in the early 12th century. [12]

Bury Castle has been mapped at 1:10,000 scale, based on the RCHME 1:1000 plan, but it is almost completely obscured by trees on the available aerial photographs. [14-15]

The Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment of 2009 gave the site a survival score of 9. [18]

Work was undertaken to remove bracken from the site in 2008 and 2009. [19]

The site was surveyed in July 2015 as part of the 2015 Exmoor Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment. It was given a survival score of 10. [20]


<1> Ordnance Survey, 1962, 6 Inch Map: 1962 (Map). SEM7220.


<2> Page, W. (editor), 1911, The Victoria History of the County of Somerset, P.482-483 (Monograph). SMO5358.


<3> PITCHER, GHP, Field Investigators Comments, Ordnance Survey visit, 17 August 1965 (Unpublished document). SMO7319.


<4> Scheduled Monument Notification , Department of Environment. Ancient Monuments of England 2, 1978, 119 (Index). SMO4073.


<5> Allcroft, A.H., 1908, Earthwork of England: Prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, Danish, Norman, and Mediaeval, P.136-137 (Monograph). SMO5064.


<6> Fryer, A.C., 1923, Monumental Effigies in Somerset, P.21 (Article in serial). SMO7244.


<7> Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, Field Monument Warden Report (Report). SSO1247.


<8> Dunning, R., 1995, Somerset Castles (Monograph). SSO1050.


<9> Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, Field Investigators Comment, R Wilson-North and H Riley, 12 June 1996 (Unpublished document). SMO5111.


<10> Wilson-North, R. + Riley, H., 1996, Bury Castle Ink Survey (Survey). SMO5721.


<11> Wilson-North, R. + Riley, H., 1996, Bury Castle, Brompton Regis, Somerset (Report). SEM6834.


<12> Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, Exmoor Project (Collection). SMO5831.


<13> Photograph Plan of Bury Castle at Brompton Regis (Photograph). SMO1178.


<14> RCHME: Brendon Hills Mapping Project, SS92NW (Collection). SMO6669.


<15> Vertical Aerial Photograph, RAF 543/2821 (F65) 274-5 (27 April 1964) (Aerial photograph). SMO4068.


<16> Binding, H. + Bonham-Carter, V., 1986, Old Dulverton and Around: Dulverton - Bury - Brushford - Exebridge, P.80 (Monograph). SEM7521.


<17> Dulverton and District Civic Society, 2002, The Book of Dulverton, Brushford, Bury and Exebridge, P.137 (Monograph). SEM7523.


<18> Bray, L.S., 2010, Scheduled Monument Condition Assessment 2009, Exmoor National Park (Report). SEM7402.


<19> Exmoor National Park Authority, 2009, Monument Management Scheme: 2008-9 Report, P. 8 (Report). SEM7897.


<20> Gent, T. and Manning, P., 2015, Exmoor National Park Scheduled Monument Condition Survey 2015 - Draft (Report). SEM8278.

Other References

  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MMO191
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11072
  • Local List Status (No)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 92 NW7
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • Pastscape HOBID (was Monarch UID): 36540
  • Scheduled Monument (County Number): SO 342
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33369
Date Last Edited:Oct 19 2016 12:08PM

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