Blakeney Mariners Hill

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameBlakeney Mariners Hill
Alternative NamesWellburgh
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishBlakeney

Situated at TG 02854409 is a large grass covered mound, maximum height of 7.1m, with a northern coastal outlook of 175 degrees. Although possibly a motte, extensive local research and enquiry failed to produce substantiating historical fact; there is no ground evidence of a former bailey. It is possible the mound pre-dates the C15th Guildhall to the W, the undercroft of which appears to cut into the western quadrant. (Field Investigators Comments–F1 JB 16-JAN-74). Further research of early C19th coast surveys, and the Blakeney tithe map give no indication of the mound or its purpose. A reduced photograph of a 1586 map of Blakeney and Cley Haven also shows no trace of a mound. The spread condition, with walkways, seating platforms and encroached development confuses ground classification, but the impression is of earth piled up against already steeply rising ground to form a platform vantage point. Thus, this is a doubtful motte; a more likely purpose being a harbour lookout or beacon mount. Because of its irregular spread, the fact that the Guildhall undercroft appears to cut it is not proof of its pre C15th construction (Field Investigators Comments–F2 JRL 05-MAR-76). (PastScape)

A large artificial mound of earth (known as Mariners Hill) is clearly visible on aerial photographs. The mound is centred on NGR TG0285 4409 and is about 50m across by 35m. It also appears to be formed of two different areas in as much as there is the main mound which is clearly higher and then adjoining it to the east there is a lower/smaller mound. This causes a stepped appearance. (They have been mapped as one mound). Its exact date and origin are uncertain though it seems likely to have once been a harbour lookout or beacon mount from the medieval or post medieval periods. There seems to be some uncertainty as to whether the mound pre or post dates the adjacent Blakeney Guildhall (NHER 6133 NMR TG04SW12)

The NHER entry concludes that it 'post-dates guildhall of 1350 as it formerly covered one wall of this'. However, the NMR entry states that 'it is possible the mound pre-dates the C15 Guildhall to the west (TG04SW12), the undercroft of which appears to cut the western quadrant'. The NMR entry then goes on to say, 'because of its irregular spread, the fact that the Guildhall undercroft appears to cut it is not proof of its pre C15 construction'. (Norfolk HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The mound is next to the manor house of an important manor and borough with a friary. The name implies use as a harbour beacon, but this does not exclude construction as a motte, although, on balance, seems unlikely as a castle site. A WWII air raid shelter was inserted into the mound and the second smaller mound may represent spoil from building this. The mound seems to have fairly damaged before the air raid shelter was inserted. It may have been used as the site of a C16 artillery scounce

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTG028440
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Blomefield, F., 1808, 'Holt hundred: Blakeney or Sniterley' An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk Vol. 9 p. 361-5 (tenurial history) online transcription