Brimpsfield; The Rookery

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Possible Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameBrimpsfield; The Rookery
Alternative Names
Historic CountryGloucestershire
Modern AuthorityGloucestershire
1974 AuthorityGloucestershire
Civil ParishBrimpsfield

Brimpsfield castle mound measures about 130 ft by 85 ft. The height of the mound and the depth of the surrounding moat are about the same as those of the Bagpath Castle mound (Lindley 1958), (4 ft above ground level and 5 ft deep respectively) (Lindley 1954). There are irregularities suggesting former works (Lindley 1958) and signs of masonry on the north side (Annotated Record Map Rec 6" (O G S Crawford 12.12.20)). The mound was probably built as a defence during the Conquest, pending the construction of Brimpsfield castle (SO 91 SW 13) (Lindley 1958).

The castle was probably a "Motte and Fosse" with a wooden tower. The steep bank above the brook serves as a natural defence on one side; on the other it is piled up artifically and defended by a fairly deep ditch or dry moat (Butler 1959).

The mound averages 2.5m high with a surrounding ditch 1.0m to 1.5m deep. There may have been a masonry structure on top of the footings now concealed, but there has been random digging giving a general uneven surface (Field Investigators Comments F1 NVQ 12-MAY-72). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The theory put forward that this was the precursor castle to Brimpsfield Castle is unsupported. In fact Brimpsfield Castle, a ringwork and beside the church, may well be an earlier site. Brimpsfield Castle was a major high status house well into the C14 and was set within a high status landscape. This is an mound with no bailey and may well represent a feature of the hunting park in which it is located, either a hunting or foresters lodge or a vista structure. The site has not been excavated, there is no dating evidence from finds. This may even be a collapsed masonry structure and not a motte at all although the site was moated. Pending further investigation recorded as a 'possible' motte because of the scheduling report but is not likely to have been a castle site with masonry.

- 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 ReferenceSO946127
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  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 181


  • Newbury, John, 1993, 'Map and Documentary Interpretation in Brimpsfield Parish' Glevensis Vol. 27 p. 33 online copy
  • Rawes, B., 1977, 'A Check List of Castles and other Fortified Sites of Medieval Date in Gloucestershire' Glevensis Vol. 11 p. 39-41 online copy
  • Butler, R.F., 1959, Cotteswold Naturalists Field Club Proceedings Vol. 33 p. 113-4
  • Lindley, E.S., 1958, Kingswood Abbey and Wortley, Addenda et Corrigenda' Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Vol. 77 p. 158 online copy
  • Lindley, E.S., 1954, 'Wotton under Edge Notes' Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society Vol. 73 p. 234 online copy