Godsborough near Abbotsham

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Other/Unknown)

There are earthwork remains

NameGodsborough near Abbotsham
Alternative NamesGoodborough Castle; Godborough Castle; Kenwith Castle; Kenwic Castle
Historic CountryDevonshire
Modern AuthorityDevon
1974 AuthorityDevon
Civil ParishNortham

King writes "Nothing known of castle mentioned by Moore." However PastScape records, under the name Goodborough Castle, and at the map ref given "Earthwork ditch and bank of uncertain date crossing a ridge, with a possible entrance way. A single bank and ditch extends north to south for 285yds. The earthwork appears to be hurriedly constructed and to be incomplete. Two mounds have been formed from the upcast of the ditch on the west. It is more likely to be a prehistoric than Medieval earthwork."

Gatehouse Comments

Called Godborough Castle on OS map. Higham writes very doubtful with no convincing documentary or archaeological evidence. This looks like a boundary bank separating some woodland (see 1st edn. OS map). It can be safely assumed that this is Moore's Godsborough Castle, which he wrote was near 'Biddeford'. Indeed the only question here is the reason King had any difficulty identifying the site, since it seems fairly well known. It is most unlikely to be a medieval build or to have had medieval use. There may some confusion in some records between this site and Kenwith Castle 200m to the west. See Kenwith Castle for full bibliography.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSS436273
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

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Calculate Print


  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 121 (possible)
  • Lysons, D. and S., 1822, 'Antiquities: Camps and earthworks' Magna Britannia Vol. 6 Devon p. 349-353 (as Godborough) online transcription
  • Moore, James, 1798, List of the Principal Castles and Monasteries in Great Britain (London) p. 9 online copy


  • Higham, R.A., 1988, 'Devon Castles: an annotated list' Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society Vol. 46 p. 142-9
  • Rogers, I., 1948, 'The Invasion of North Devon by Hubba the Dane in the Year 878' Transactions of the Devonshire Association Vol. 80 p. 125


  • Historic England, 2016, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2016 (London: Historic England) p. 110 online copy
  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk South West Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 112 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 116 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 111 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 127 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 115 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 109 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 South West (London: English Heritage) p. 116 online copy
  • Higham, R.A., 1979, The Castles of Medieval Devon (University of Exeter PhD Thesis) Downloadable from EThOS