Southoe Manor Farm

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameSouthoe Manor Farm
Alternative NamesSouthhoe
Historic CountryHuntingdonshire
Modern AuthorityCambridgeshire
1974 AuthorityCambridgeshire
Civil ParishSouthoe And Midloe

Almost circular moat 300ft diameter. Outside moat on S side is a sunk place 100ft by 40ft and 4ft 6in deep; at SW at circular mound, 32ft diameter; some 170ft away on W and about 70fton NW is large moat or fosse with considerable bank, apparently serving as an outer defence on that side; it is very wide at NW corner and has an extension of 22ft in length toward N. (VCH 1928)

Southoe Manor Farm, was subject to limited archaeological excavation in the 1930s. The site has, unfortunately, been destroyed by ploughing. Before its destruction, it had the shape of a roughly circular platform surrounded by a ditch, a form highly reminiscent of a Norman ringwork. Lethbridge and Tebbutt's undertook their excavation before the study of Saxon and medieval pottery was well-advanced, so their attributions of particular ceramic types to particular time periods is open to question. It seems possible, though, that the site did have a late Saxon to early Norman phase, but there was also considerable later occupation on the same site. (Lowerre)

Gatehouse Comments

Earthworks possibly representing a defended or at least enclosed Late-Saxon or Norman settlement. The site has been damaged by ploughing. Not generally accepted as a castle site but a strong contender for the castle mentioned in 1140 and 1153 and earthworks as recorded by VCH do seem impressive. Possibly the documented castle of Southoe.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTL179638
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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. 238
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 314-15
  • RCHME, 1926, An inventory of the historical monuments in Huntingdonshire p. 241 no. 12 online transcription
  • Inskip Ladds, S., 1926, in Page, Wm and Proby, Granville (eds), VCH Huntingdonshire Vol. 1 p. 303-305


  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12 (listed as precursor to Town Orchard)
  • Clayton, G.L., 1948, 'Southoe Manor. Finds in Town Orchard Site' Transactions of the Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire Archaeological Society Vol. 7.1 p. 1-6 online copy
  • Lethbridge, T.C. and Tebbutt, C.F., 1939, 'Southoe Manor: preliminary investigations of an early mediaeval moated site at Manor Farm, Southoe, Hunts.' Proceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society Vol. 38 p. 158-163 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. 506-8