Tewkesbury Queen Margarets Camp

Has been described as a Rejected Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameTewkesbury Queen Margarets Camp
Alternative Names
Historic CountryGloucestershire
Modern AuthorityGloucestershire
1974 AuthorityGloucestershire
Civil ParishTewkesbury

Margaret's Camp lies to the east of the main route into the important medieval and post-medieval market town of Tewkesbury. The surrounding area has been heavily developed for housing, and the moated site represents the only open ground within this area. Evidence for a complex water management system which survives in association with the moat, would have been necessary for the Tewkesbury area where severe seasonal floods have been recorded from the medieval period. Survival of waterlogged remains and other archaeological evidence can be expected within the area of the monument.

The monument known as Margaret's Camp includes a moated site with what survives of an associated system of water management features, situated on the southern outskirts of Tewkesbury. Part of the site, on its northern side, has been affected by development and is not included in the scheduling. The moated site is central to the monument and comprises a central square platform measuring about 30m across surrounded by a moat, about 8m wide and 1.5m deep with no surviving evidence for an internal or external bank. The north eastern corner of the moat has degraded over time and the ditch is not as clearly visible as the rest of the enclosure. The land slopes away from the moat to the south and south west, towards a pond, and an elaborate system of channels appear to have drawn water from the moat to this pond. A ditch, approximately 8m wide and 1.5m deep runs south from the moat, dog-legging to the west to join a much deeper ditch which runs from the northern end of the site into the pond. This second ditch is about 12m wide and up to 1.5m deep at its southern extent, but only about 6m wide and between 1.5m and 0.5m deep further to the north. The pond itself, which is at times water-filled is an elongated 'L'-shape and approximately 2m deep

Other water management features in the form of shallow and degraded ditches are visible running across the site, the most significant of which runs east to west at the northern end of the field, disappearing under the modern road on the west and under the housing estate on the east. This ditch is about 8m wide and 0.5m deep. There is no evidence for similar earthworks to the south of the pond. The surviving earthworks associated with the moated site suggest that the complex was oringinally larger, stretching into the area of housing development to the north and east. The moated site is believed to take its name from the battle of 1471 when Queen Margaret is said to have spent the night before the battle in the area. (Scheduling Report)

Queen Margaret's Camp, scheduled as a secular site, a five-sided earthwork, was probably dug after the Battle of Tewkesbury (1471), possibly as a grave-pit, possibly as a memorial of the Battle (MOW 1965: Burne).

The complex of earthworks known as 'Margaret's Camp', comprises a partially water-filled moat with an apparently contemporary enclosure annexed to its south and west sides. Running from the south east corner of the enclosure is an L-shaped gully incorporating a pond. This feature appears to be contemporary. The suggestion that this may be either a grave-pit or battle memorial seems most unlikely, nor is it a motte and bailey. A more probable explanation seems to be that this is a rather elaborate homestead moat (F1 ANK 10-MAY-66). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Has been classed as a motte and bailey by early writers (who?) but rejected as domestic moat by D.J.C. King and other later writers.

- 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 ReferenceSO894313
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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

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.

Calculate Print


  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Gloucestershire and Bristol (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 35
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 185 (reject)
  • Elrington, C.R. (ed), 1968, VCH Gloucestershire Vol. 8 p. 110- (moated site) online transcription
  • 1965, Ancient Monuments in England and Wales: a List Prepared By the Ministry of Public Building and Works (HMSO) p. 58
  • Burne, A., 1951, The Battlefields of England (Methuen) p. 127
  • Burrow, Edward J., 1919, The Ancient Entrenchments and Camps of Gloucestershire (Cheltenham and London) p. 143


  • Rawes, B., 1978, 'A Preliminary Check List of Moated Sites in Gloucestershire' Glevensis Vol. 12 p. 37 online copy
  • Blyth, J.D., 1961, 'The battle of Tewkesbury' Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Vol. 8 p. 99-120 online copy