Welcombe Castle Hill, Stratford Upon Avon

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameWelcombe Castle Hill, Stratford Upon Avon
Alternative NamesTemple Hill
Historic CountryWarwickshire
Modern AuthorityWarwickshire
1974 AuthorityWarwickshire
Civil ParishStratford Upon Avon

Temple Hill or Castle Hill. Mound associated with a C19 landscape park, it has been suggested that it may originally have been a motte. Not near Church but by DMV of Welcombe. Temple Hill is a large isolated mainly natural mound, with a flattened top and a spiral path up to it. In its present form it is obviously a landscape feature connected with the 1869 Welcombe mansion; but it is an ideal motte (though the landscaping has destroyed any definite evidence) and its actually being such is borne out by the fact that -

1. its traditional name is 'Castle Hill, (Jorden)

2. Welcombe Estate was the chief manor of Old Stratford in surveys of c1182 and 1252; also the mound is only half a mile from the Domesday Manor of Clopton. (VCH)

3. fIn 1792 labourers found on the summit, some 14" below the surface, many human bones (including a whole skeleton with a small piece of iron weapon in the skull) and an 'ancient weapon' (evidently some sort of pike, see illus.) (Gentleman's Magazine) (PastScape – the reference source seems to be G.Stanhope-Lovell, S/S, 16.11.66)

Mr. Dufty suggests that the weapon is a late 16th - early 17th c. linstock (examples in Skelton's 'Engraved Illust. of Ancient Arms & Armour' Vol. 2, 1830, plates LXXXVI and CXIV, and elsewhere), but it seems equally to resemble a 15th c. 'Korseke' pole-arm (examples in 'Tables of Ancient Arms', Metropolitan Museum, New York). The finds therefore are unlikely to have any bearing on the mound as an artificial feature, except as giving a terminus ante quem. (PastScape - ref. oral information)

Gatehouse Comments

The location, next to a later high status house, does mean this mainly natural hill could have been used as a motte by a precursor medieval manor house although the actually evidence - which is mainly a C18 reference to a Castle Hill place-name - is weak. If a medieval castle then later mansion would occupy the site of the bailey making a castle of considerable size.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSP208566
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



  • Jordan J., 1794, The Gentleman's Magazine Vol. 64 p. 505-6 online copy