Steers Copse Mound, Bentley
Has been described as a Certain Siege Work
There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains
|Name||Steers Copse Mound, Bentley
|Alternative Names||Bentley Castle
|Historic Country||Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
At this point in a grass field, formerly arable, is a ploughed-over motte with a surrounding ditch and the remains of a bank which on the south extends from the motte to form a small area - probably a bailey. The motte is flat-topped, 52.0m. in average diameter and 1.8m. high with a ditch, 8.0m. wide and 0.5m. deep. The bank is surveyable only on the west and east sides and elsewhere is visible as a spread rise. The mound is littered with fragments of stone and many flints, but the surface soil in the area is naturally stony. Several fragments of Ro. tile were found including flanged roofing tile which as at Barley Pound - (SU 74 NE 8) may have been taken from the Ro. Villa site - (SU 74 NE 7) and built into the structure which probably surmounted this motte. No other trace of such a structure was seen. The motte is placed on the southern crest of a prominent E-W ridge commanding an extensive area to the south. (F1 WW 26-SEP-56)
Probably a siege-castle which, together with Powderham (SU 84 NW 51), would have been used to blockade Barley Pound (SU 74 NE 8) (King and Renn 1971).
Excavations by Hants. County Council and D.O.E. showed the castle to consist of a low motte with attached bailey. Part of the motte was surrounded by a V-shaped ditch and the bailey was delineated by a bank. Under the motte was a buried ground surface which covered a Roman building (Stamper 1979; 1980).
Excavations in 1980 showed the V-shaped ditch ran right around the motte, apart from where it was abutted by the bailey
The ditch was deliberately filled at an unknown date, with material from the motte, but only after an initial period of natural silting over many years. It remains unclear if Roman material found during the excavations derives from a Roman building in the immediate vicinity of the castle or from the substantial villa site to the north (Stamper 1981; 1984). (PastScape)
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
|OS Map Grid Reference||SU793462