Burgh next Aylsham

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameBurgh next Aylsham
Alternative NamesHall Farm; Round Hill; Burgh Hill
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishBurgh And Tuttington

Large low motte; wet ditch, perhaps originally double. (King 1983)

This is the site of the Burgh medieval hall that was mentioned in 1313 with a water mill adjacent to it. Over the years a variety of objects have been recovered from the site, with many of these coming from the moats which would have surrounded the hall. Finds included Mesolithic and Neolithic flints, a medieval helmet, and parts of a medieval wooden and stone bridge as well as numerous medieval pottery sherds. By 2002 the whole site was under good grass cover and plans were in place to ensure its continued preservation. (Norfolk HER)

A large ancient mound existed at Burgh next Aylsham, near the Old Hall. The ditch surrounding it was partially cleared circa 1855 and yielded ten large Mediaeval jugs and an iron axe-head and arrowhead (Bulwer 1855).

Round Hill and Old Hall (site of) is an oval enclosure which appears to have been made by utilizing a natural holm of gravel and digging a wide and deep ditch round it. There appear also to be traces of an outer ditch, the two being divided by a raised bank. This ditch is a unbroken except at one point on the NE where there is now a causeway, apparently at one time a bridge (worked stone found).

Slight excavations were made in 1908 in several parts of the enclosure proving the mound's natural origin. 15th century tiles were found (Rye 1908).

A sub-circular moat set on a water plateau in a non-defensive position, the moat being for drainage rather than defence. Similarly the "outer ditch" of Rye is also drainage; the surface of this land is undulating but no foundations are evident, though occasional fragmentary tile and early brick may be picked up. Substantial ornamental oaks stand on the perimeter but the central area is clear.

Doubtless the site of a residence, possibly "Burgh Hall" as published but about which there is nothing known locally ("Round Hill' is also unknown to the local tenant farmer)

Obviously mediaeval in origin (F1 JB 20-JUL-72). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Liddiard writes this is spoil from a gravel pit. King had no apparent doubt in identifying this as a motte. This is a moated mound and was the site of the find of medieval jugs and is considered by the Norfolk HER to be the site of a medieval manor house. The suggestion that the moat was for drainage rather than defence suggests these functions are antagonistic whereas the moat could be multi-functional. It does seem some slight excavation has shown the mound to be natural but this does not exclude use as a platform for a medieval residence and it has been clearly adapted. If this was a residence of a person owing military service in the C11/C12 then this would be similar to many 'castle' sites, particularly those in the west of England. If occupied by a gentry status family in the later middle ages then it is much the same as many fortified manor houses.

- 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 ReferenceTG213261
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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 44
  • Liddiard, R., 2000, Landscapes of Lordship (British Archaeological Reports British Series 309) p. 16 (reject)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 306


  • Rye, W. (ed), 1908, Norfolk Antiquarian Miscellany 2nd series Vol. 3 p. 103-5
  • Bulwer, Rev J., 1855, Norfolk Archaeology Vol. 4 p. 344-5 online copy