High Wycombe, Castle Hill House

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameHigh Wycombe, Castle Hill House
Alternative NamesKeep Hill; Wycumbam
Historic CountryBuckinghamshire
Modern AuthorityBuckinghamshire
1974 AuthorityBuckinghamshire
Civil ParishHigh Wycombe

Mount in the garden of Castle Hill House, on the slope of a hill overlooking the town, about 350' OD. The work in its present state consists only of the mount which appears from its unusual form (a crescent) to have been partly destroyed. It is 30' high and 128' in diam, at its base. The summit is 17' in diameter. In an ancient Heralds Book in the Bodleian Library is contained a return of all the Royal Castles in England which includes Wycombe. The castle was apparently an appurtenance of the Manor of Temple Wycombe and held by Robert de Vipont as lord of the manor in the reign of King John. Suggestions that there is an associated ringwork are probably confused with later landscaping of the area. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Watching briefs in the 1990's failed to find evidence of a ditch or medieval material and a watching brief in 2004 produced some C17 pottery and 'made up layers' and on this bases the mound is is now suggested as a prospect mound. This seems flimsy evidence for dismissing a long tradition backed up with some documentation although there is, of course, no reason why this motte could not have has some use (including some landscaping alteration) as a prospect mound. The documentary evidence may actually refer to Desborough Castle.

- 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 ReferenceSU867932
Latitude51.6314086914063
Longitude-0.74864000082016
Eastings486710
Northings193230
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Books

  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 35
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 10 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 27
  • Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 320
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 350
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1925, VCH Buckinghamshire Vol. 3 p. 113 online transcription
  • RCHME, 1912, An inventory of the historical monuments in Buckinghamshire Vol. 1 (south) p. 197 online copy
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1908, VCH Buckinghamshire Vol. 2 p. 28 online copy
  • Parker, J., 1873, History and Antiquities of Wycombe p. 4 footnote online copy

Journals

  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • 1864, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London Vol. 2 (2nd series) p. 361 (finds) online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1906, Calendar of Charter Rolls Henry III-Edward 1 1257-1300 Vol. 2. (HMSO) p. 132 view online copy (Charter of Stephen from the siege of Wycombe)