Kimbolton; The Mound

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameKimbolton; The Mound
Alternative NamesCastle Hill
Historic CountryHuntingdonshire
Modern AuthorityCambridgeshire
1974 AuthorityCambridgeshire
Civil ParishKimbolton

Castle Hill motte stands on a slight spur about 270m north of Park Lodge, overlooking the flood plain of the River Kym and village of Kimbolton to the north. The castle was constructed by digging a broad circular ditch around the tip of the spur, encircling a small area which was raised using the upcast to form a mound or motte. The motte (also circular in plan) measures about 30m in diameter and now stands approximately level with the outer edge of the ditch to the south, and 1.8m above the rim of the ditch to the north where the ground falls away at the end of the spur. The surface of the motte, which would originally have supported a timber tower, has a slightly domed profile. The surrounding ditch varies between 1m and 2.5m in depth, deepest to the south to compensate for the rising ground. Although it was recorded as water filled in the early part of this century, the ditch is now dry and contains deep deposits of humic silt. The ditch also varies in width from about 15m around the southern part of the circuit narrowing to about 10m around the northern half, which is accompanied by an outer counterscarp bank averaging 5m across and 0.6m high. In the absence of a causeway across the ditch access to the motte is thought to have been via a bridge. The castle is believed to have originated in mid C12 during the period of civil war known as the Anarchy. Kimbolton Park, in which the monument stands, was enclosed as a deer park by C16, and it has been suggested that the motte may have been reused as a hunting lodge for a time. The monument is shown on Thomas Stirrup's estate map of 1673 under the name Castle Hill. (EH Scheduling report 1996)

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 ReferenceTL093673
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  • Lowerre, A.G., 2005, Placing Castles in the Conquest. Landscape, Lordship and Local Politics in the South-Eastern Midlands, 1066-1100 (Oxford: John and Erica Hedges Ltd: BAR British Series 385) p. 237-8
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 20
  • Taylor, Alison, 1986, Castles of Cambridgeshire (Cambridge)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 225
  • RCHME, 1926, An inventory of the historical monuments in Huntingdonshire p. 173 no.3 online transcription
  • Inskip Ladds, S., 1926, in Page, Wm and Proby, Granville (eds), VCH Huntingdonshire Vol. 1 p. 287 view unattributed online copy


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 240
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 2 online copy


  • Brown, A.E. and Taylor, C.C., 1980, 'Cambridgeshire earthwork surveys: IV. Mound, Kimbolton' Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society Vol. 70 p. 124-5 online copy


  • Lowerre, A.G., 2004, Placing Castles in the Conquest. Landscape, Lordship and Local Politics in the South-Eastern Midlands, 1066-1100 (PhD thesis: Boston College) p. 504-6
  • English Heritage, 1996, Scheduling record: Motte Castle in Kimbolton Park, known as Castle Hill
  • Cambridgeshire Extensive Urban Survey: Kimbolton. Draft Report 03/03/2003 online copy