St Mary Cray Hockenden

Has been described as a Rejected Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are uncertain remains

NameSt Mary Cray Hockenden
Alternative NamesBirch Wood
Historic CountryKent
Modern AuthorityLondon Borough of Bromley
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil ParishBromley

Identified as a ringwork rejected by King as too weak and probably a millstead.

(TQ 50156892) A small ringwork, similar to Sweyn's Camp, Swanscombe (See TQ 57 SE 9 - now destroyed,) in Birch Wood. The wood has been cleared and cultivated as a small-holding. Probably a "motte" (Hogg). A large circular mound situated on the tip of a prominent, exposed spur that extends in a south-westerly direction from the main ridge at a height of approx. 225 ft. O.D. The mound is heavily overgrown with small trees and bracken, it measures approx 23.0m in diameter and 1.5m in height, and in the flat top there is a large saucer-shaped depression. The mound was originally surrounded by a ditch of which only traces survive, mainly in the SW quadrant. This feature is rather small for a motte, its position and appearance suggest a Windmill Mound; "Windmill Hill Wood' to the south seems to confirm this (F1 CFW 30-NOV-60). This mound is of a slightly elongated form with the long axis N-S. It has diameters of 27m & 23m, and is 1.5m high, with a hollow 3m across and 0.5m deep in an otherwise flattish top. A shallow ditch, 3m wide and from 0.1m to 0.3m deep, can be traced around the W and S sides. There are indications of an excavation trench from top to bottom of the mound on the SW but it does not extend across the ditch. As suggested by F1 CFW 30-NOV-60 it is most probably a windmill mound (F3 NVQ 24-OCT-86). (PastScape)

A large circular mound c. 23m diameter and 1.5m high, situated on a prominent exposed spur. In the flat top there is a large saucer-shaped depression. Originally surrounded by a ditch of which traces survive. Small for a motte: shape, position and name suggest it is a windmill mound. (Greater London HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The site remains under tree cover but the surrounding landscape is being damaged by main road to east and dirt motorsports courses to south.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ501689
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 239 (reject)


  • Hogg, A.H.A., 1934, OS map notation