Radcot; The Garrison
Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Other/Unknown), and also as a Possible Masonry Castle, and also as a Possible Tower House
There are earthwork remains
|Name||Radcot; The Garrison
|Civil Parish||Grafton And Radcot
Probably large homestead moat altered by construction of draingage works on all sides. Interior uneven, but no buildings seen. Geophysical work by AAAHS and Time Team as well as evaluation trenches have proved presence of Matilda's keep and Civil War earthworks.
1) Observation located the/an original entrance to the moated enclosure
2) Site has yielded C13th or C14th glazed pottery and clay roofing tile and is probably a homestead moat of that period. The writer of the 'Gesta Stephani' states that in 1141 the Empress Matilda built a castle at Radcot, surrounded by water and marsh. This may have been a flimsy affair as it is listed with another 'in the village of Bampton on the tower of the church there'.
3) Moated meadow, 121m x 152m. Does not seem to have been constructed to surround buildings
5) Geophysical work by Roger Ainslie identifed keep structure; J Blair and AAAHS put in single trench and found footing layer, as well as evidence of robbing and burning. Blair's single trench was located on W side of the square keep built by Hugh of Buckland (c1100-1120) to control the road between Witney and Faringdon.
6) Radcot (Rocote) is mentioned from Domesday. A castle was situated from the early C12 to control the crossing over the Thames. Previous excavations showed that the keep was demolished in the late C13. The 'Garrison' is likely to be so called from the fortification of Radcot in 1142 by Matilda. Past geophysical work had already demonstrated that magnetometry worked well at Radcot; this project confirmed those findings with clear pictures of the 'Garrison' and surrounding buildings (possible kitchen and apsidal chapel). More extensive survey would be beneficial. GPR produced the most striking results.
7) Evaluation by Time Team revealed the NE corner of the keep and also the supporting pier for the first floor of the castle. No evidence of a main entrance, stairway or fore-building identified
Remains of the heavily robbed gatehouse and main access road into the castle complex, remains of the demolished curtain wall and the northern moat were identified, as well as a heavily robbed structure interpreted as a chapel. These structures post-dated deposits containing C11-12 pottery, consistent with an early post-conquest construction date which could link it with Hugh of Buckland, the local major landowner around the turn of the C12. Possible evidence of the subsequent strengthening of the keep was observed (in what Blair described as demolition rubble), perhaps associated with Matilda's fortification of the castle during the Anarchy Period of C12, shortly thereafter surrendered to Stephen. Abandonment of the castle was dated to late C13-early C14, and there was a clear hiatus in the pottery sequence from that date until the C16 which fits with the later occupation of the site (as a homestead moat) by the de Besilles family. In the mid C17 a 'minor Royalist fort' was constructed that involved the refortification of the E half of the medieval moated complex by the excavation of a large ditch which split the moated site in two. The C17 defensive ditch was shown to surround an earthen bastion for the placing of cannon. These remains are still visible as earthworks. Also found were late Roman ditches, possible field boundaries, as well as low level of residual later prehistoric material, suggesting activity on or close to the site. (Oxfordshire HER)
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
|OS Map Grid Reference||SU284996