Black Bourton

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameBlack Bourton
Alternative NamesBurtuna
Historic CountryOxfordshire
Modern AuthorityOxfordshire
1974 AuthorityOxfordshire
Civil ParishBlack Bourton

"Burtuna". The castle was attacked by Henry of Anjou in 1147 - the mound at SP 283 029 is a possible identification near Black Bourton but R H C Davis (English Historical Review 77, p.228) suggests Purton near Cricklade (Wilts). Tumulus shown as a barrow on the David and Charles Sheet 69. Cirencester.

The field was surveyed in 1970. As published, it is 1.3m high and is very spread. It is situated at the southern end of an old ploughing headland, and the possibility that it is a windmill mound cannot be discounted. (Oxfordshire HER)

Quia cum ad civitatem Cricheladam, et ad municipium, quod Burtuna dicitur, quae tunc regii habebantur juris, quasi interius, sine obstaculo, irrupturi advenissent, hinc, cum dedecore effugati, inde, metu eos abigente, festine fuere propulsi. (Sewell)

Propose as Stephanic castle of Burtuna attacked 1147. Burtuna is variously identified as Black Bourton, Oxon (SP286042) and as Purton, Wilts (SU096872) or Burton Grove Farm, Wilts ( SU191891) All sites are near Cricklade, with which this castle is associated. Black Bourton parish was divided into three manors in the C12 (Bourton Winslow, Bourton Inge and Abbot Bourton)

Gatehouse Comments

This specific mound seems most unlikely as a castle site of any type. Black Bourton although really this is quite some distance from Cricklade.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSP282029
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Calculate Print


  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 387
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 124
  • Potts, W., 1907, in Page, Wm (ed), 'Ancient Earthworks' VCH Oxfordshire Vol. 2 p. 345 (as round barrow) online transcription


Primary Sources

  • Sewell, R.C. (ed), 1846, Gesta Stephani, Regis Anglorum et Ducis Normannorum p. 128 online copy (The newer edition and translation by Potter, K.R. (ed), 1976 (2edn), Gesta Stephani (Oxford University Press) should be consulted for serious study. See also Speight, S., 2000, 'Castle Warfare in the Gesta Stephani' , Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 19 [see online transcription >])