High Woolaston

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameHigh Woolaston
Alternative Names
Historic CountryGloucestershire
Modern AuthorityGloucestershire
1974 AuthorityGloucestershire
Civil ParishWoolaston

(ST 577991) The possible site of a Norman motte or a medieval farm-house lies on the far side of a small valley facing High Woolaston farm, according to F Harris and C Scott-Garrett, who found walls still standing to a height of 4ft, and the remains of a square room or tower on the crest of the hill. A wide ditch flanked the feature to the east, and to the south were a vallum and ditch. Glazed and coarse red medieval pottery was found on the site (Hart).

(ST 57639909) Irregular mound, possibly with encircling ditch (Aerial Photographs RAF CPE/UK/1928 4257-8, 4166-67 01-NOV-1946).

(ST 57669915) The walls identified by Scott-Garrett are probably those depicted on OS 25". They were removed in 1953. Of the ditch and vallum there is now no trace. The feature noted on APs at ST 57639909 is a rough platform some 2.5m square and 0.2m high. It may indicate the site of the "tower or square room" (F1 DRB 3-SEP-70).

The possible Medieval settlement remains are visible on aerial photographs as a complex series of quarries, mounds and what appear to be building foundations. There is no documentary evidence to suggest this is a motte but it is unclear what these remains represent. They appear to be a combination of quarries, upcast and building/wall foundations, perhaps the site of a settlement or farm which has been subsequently quarried or the site of a quarry with associated ancillary buildings. A system of Medieval/Post Medieval ridge and furrow situated immediately to the south and east may be associated with the site (see ST 59 NE 80).

The supposed mound of the motte, upon which the substantial building foundations are located, appears to have been extensively quarried. It is centred at ST 5766 9916

The building foundations, presumably those referred to by the previous authorities and described as a "tower or square room" measure 10m by 5m and are centred at ST 5765 9916. The mound is situated next to a large cut which extends downslope to the valley floor and so the mound could simply be the upcast from this.

There are a series of possible mounds and earth covered walls, arranged around a roughly rectangular area measuring 40m by 25m, which extend south, and upslope, from the mound. These are centred at ST 5765 9913. These appear to incorporate what could be possible building foundations in the south east corner, in the vicinity of ST 5765 9911.

To the west of these is another possible enclosure, measuring 11m by 14m, defined by a rectangular depression partially surrounded by narrow banks or possibly earth covered walls. It is centred at ST 5761 9911. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Hart appears to identify a number of sites as castles that are quite doubtful. This seems to be a medieval farmstead, the 'mound' being building collapse and quarry upcast.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST576990
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Elrington, C.R. and Herbert, N.M. (eds), 1972, VCH Gloucestershire Vol. 10 p. 102 (mention of earthworks) online transcription
  • Hart, C., 1967, Archaeology in Dean p. 21, 56n4, 59