Crondall Barley Pound

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameCrondall Barley Pound
Alternative NamesLidelea; Udelea
Historic CountryHampshire and the Isle of Wight
Modern AuthorityHampshire
1974 AuthorityHampshire
Civil ParishCrondall

Formerly marked as 'Roman Amphitheatre' on O.S. maps, this complicated earthwork is one of the best examples in the county of a ring and bailey fortress of probable 12th century construction. 'It consists of a roughly circular shell keep at the SE corner of the wood c 7' high and 11' above the bottom of its ditch. This bailey is divided by a bank into two halves. A second bailey can be traced to the N. and W... and yet a third enclosure outside this to the N...'.

'The area of the keep...consists of the usual saucer-shaped space. 50 yards in diameter...' surrounded by a bank 9' high and ditch 9' deep.

It is thickly strewn with large flints, with some mortar and a good many building stones. The only entrances to the keep are in the middle of the N and E sides; to the N of the latter there appears to have been a building. A ramp connects the keep with the banks of the baileys at the SW corner and several building foundations are to be found thereabouts. There are no traces of a well within the keep.

The history of the castle is lost. Earlier than or contemporary with Adam de Gurdon's time (d. before AD.1234 - manorial lord of Selborne - 'Charters of Selborne Priory', (1891), (Hants.Rec.Soc.), many refs) (Williams-Freeman).

'The SE portion of the interior of the inner-ring... is filled- in with a mass of earthwork, one point of which is some 6 or 8 feet above the average crest of the vallum; at 'C' ... it will be worth while to have a look for the foundations of some important building. Now that the brushwood is down ... the recess commanding the eastern entrance at 'D' is much more apparent. It looks to me as if it might have been a guard room...

Immediately to the east of the northern entrance we have made a small section at 'A' ..

There is only one layer of the dressed stone in situ and the mortar, of which there is a quantity is quite perished with age.

We have established similar foundations both on the inner and the outer edge of the vallum just north of the SW angle, at 'B', which were probably the inner and outer walls of a building on the top of the vallum..' (Oral information).

'I have dug within the area of the keep and found quantities of masonry. In what appeared to be a revetment wall to the inside of the rampart, I found Roman tile and brick' (Field Investigators Comments F1 WCW 01-JUN-56).

These earthworks consist of a large ring-motte with baileys to the south and north-west and a further enclosure to the north.

The ring-motte is formed by a large bank with an outer ditch and with causewayed entrances on the north and east. Within the area enclosed can be seen quantities of malm-stone and flints. At two points, the recent excavations by Major Wade can be seen as pits containing rubble surrounded by much worked stone rebated and with diagonal tooling. A number of flanged roofing tiles and brick of Ro. origin are heaped at one point and were taken from the nearby Ro. villa-site-(SU 74 NE 7) - and reused, in the castle's walling.

The buried walling of a small structure, 4x 6 m. can be seen at the middle of the southern rampart of the ring-motte and the southern half of the area is raised probably indicating thesite of the major buildings. The site of the excavation lettered 'B' on the plan by Williams-Freeman is probably indicated by a large pit in the rampart with building debris about it.

The excavation, by the same authority, at 'A' is not visible and no certain remains of this apparent wall is now visible. The 'guard-room' described, at 'D', is formed by earthern banks, presumably covering walling, which enclose an area, c 6 x 2 m.

The southern bailey is formed by large bank and ditch, it is divided from N to S by a bank with a western ditch. At the northern end there is an apparent causeway across the ditch of the ring-motte, probably the passage an entrance to the ring-motte. At the SE corner the bank and ditch of this bailey have been mutilated and spread.

To the west, a second bailey is formed by a bank and ditch, of smaller profile than the southern bailey.' The junction of the western bailey's defences with those of the southern bailey and the motte show it to be a later addition.

The northern enclosure is traceable only as a slight ditch on the west and as a weak bank and ditch on the east. The north-east corner of this enclosure has been destroyed by a chalk pit. The junction of its eastern bank and ditch with the ditch of the north bailey shows that the enclosure was later. The earthworks forming the enclosure are too weak to justify its description as a bailey (F2 WCW 29-JUN-56).

The evidence, very clear on plan, suggests that the ringwork and double bailey overlies the bank and ditch complex to the north. This is of particular significance as the complex falls within the category of works usually described as 'manorial'. A similar complex survives nearby at Neatham, Monk Wood, (SU 73 NW 22) (F4 CFW 07-DEC-67).

Barley Pound, an inner embanked ringwork with possibly four dependent baileys. The site may be identified with Lideiea Castle Pound in the Gesta Stephani for 1147, and was probably abandoned in favour of Farnham Castle soon after its siege in that year. The remains of siege-castles for the blockade of Barley Pound exist at Bentley (SU 74 NE 9) and Powderham (SU 84 NW 51). (King and Renn 1971)

The postulated fourth bailey at Barley Pound was destroyed in 1979. Examination before its destruction failed to provide any firm evidence to support classification of the enclosure as a bailey (Stamper). (PastScape)

Excavations in 1920 revealed Norman pottery and a wall 8ft thick; re-excavation in 1951 revealed a masonry keep. (Renn)

In hoc etiam tempore castellum de Lidelea, famose sibi et triumphaliter redditum, suscepit. Fuit namque idem castellum ex episcopi Wintoniensis iure, quod quidem in illis partibus et ad uarious raptorum arcendos incursus ... (Gesta Stephani)

Gatehouse Comments

Consists of a large ring-motte with baileys to the south and north west, and a further enclosure to the north. One of the best examples in the county of a ring and bailey fortress of probably C12 construction. Reputed headquarters of C13 outlaw and highwayman Adam de Gurdon. The site may be identified with Lidelea Castle Pound, the castle of the bishops of Winchester, in the Gesta Stephani for 1147, and was probably abandoned in favour of Farnham Castle soon after its siege in that year.

- 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 ReferenceSU796466
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  • Osborne, Mike, 2011, Defending Hampshire: The Military Landscape from Prehistory to the Present (Stroud: The History Press) p. 33-4, 243 (listed in Appendix)
  • Purton, P.F., 2009, A History of the Early Medieval Siege c. 450-1220 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 273
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Wessex (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 40
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 93 (slight)
  • Coulson, Charles, 1994, 'The Castles of the Anarchy' in King, Edmund (ed.), The Anarchy of King Stephen's Reign (Oxford University Press) p. 85
  • Barron, W.G., 1985, The Castles of Hampshire and Isle of Wight (Paul Cave) p. 6
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 190, 195
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 100
  • Butterfield, R.P., 1948, Monastery and Manor: The History of Crondall (Farnham) p.5, 6, 11, 29, 30, 88
  • Williams-Freeman, J.P.,1915, An Introduction to Field Archaeology as Illustrated by Hampshire (London) p. 306-7, 352-3
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1911, VCH Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Vol. 4 p. 5 online transcription
  • Doubleday, H. Arthur (ed), 1900, VCH Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Vol. 1 p. 305


  • Hughes, Michael, 1989, 'Hampshire Castles and the Landscape 1066-1216' Landscape History Vol. 2 p. 27-60
  • Stamper, P.A., 1984, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 40 p. 81
  • King, D.J.C. and Renn, D.F., 1971, 'Lidelea Castle - a suggested identification' Antiquaries Journal Vol. 51 p. 301-3
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Château Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • 26 Oct 1951, The Times (Report of masonry keep)
  • 1921, Congress of Archaeological Societies Report
  • 1920-5, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 9 p. 137-8, 289

Primary Sources

  • Sewell, R.C. (ed), 1846, Gesta Stephani, Regis Anglorum et Ducis Normannorum p. 131 online copy (The newer edition and translation by Potter, K.R. (ed), 1976 (2edn), Gesta Stephani (Oxford University Press) p. 208 should be consulted for serious study. See also Speight, S., 2000, 'Castle Warfare in the Gesta Stephani' , Château Gaillard Vol. 19 [see online transcription >])