Prittlewell Camp

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NamePrittlewell Camp
Alternative NamesPritwell; Fossets Mounds, Smithers Farm; The Look Out
Historic CountryEssex
Modern AuthoritySouthend on Sea
1974 AuthorityEssex
Civil ParishSouthend on Sea

A slight univallate enclosure which is likely to be of later prehistoric origin but has produced no secure dating evidence. It is located on the northern outskirts of Southend-on-Sea. The monument occupies the northern edge of a broad, gently sloping terrace and commands extensive views over the Roach valley to the north. The enclosure is almost circular in plan, measuring 250m in diameter. The south western third of the perimeter is defined by an earthen bank and external ditch which are preserved within a wooded belt. The ditch is less clearly visible, having been recut as an agricultural boundary and used for Corporation dumping in the 1920s, but some traces of it survive. The northern and eastern sections of the enclosure bank have been reduced by ploughing, but the earthwork marking its line was noted in the early 20th century and this still survives. The line of the bank has also been recorded from the air as a cropmark. An observation of a pipeline trench that was cut across the earthworks to the west of the enclosure in 1929 recorded no evidence of a ditch. A trial trench, cut through the southern side of the enclosure and across the southern edge of the interior in 1929, provided evidence for the composition of the bank and the original profile of the ditch but no evidence of any activity within the enclosure. There is no trace of an entrance to the enclosure. The excavations also examined a pronounced mound (known locally as 'The Look-out') situated on the south eastern part of the perimeter. This mound, measures 20m in diameter and 1.5m high and produced a mixed array of finds including large quantities of tile and medieval pottery, but provided no certain dating evidence. It has been interpreted as the base of a medieval post mill. A 'green lane' runs northwards to the north east of the enclosure. This is not directly associated with the enclosure but represents a rarely preserved segment of the medieval landscape


Raised mound of possible castle. (King)

Gatehouse Comments

Isolated. Not a medieval manorial centre.

- 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 ReferenceTQ889878
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  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 148 (possible)
  • RCHME, 1923, An inventory of the historical monuments in Essex Vol. 4 (south-east) p. 114 no. 13 (plan) online transcription


  • Mepham, 1930, Transactions of the Southend-on-Sea and District Antiquarian and Historical Society Vol. 2 p. 21-47
  • 1895, Essex Archaeological Society Transactions Vol. 5 (new series) p. 71