Norwood Castle, Oaksey

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameNorwood Castle, Oaksey
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWiltshire
Modern AuthorityWiltshire
1974 AuthorityWiltshire
Civil ParishOaksey

Remains of a Norman motte and bailey, known locally as Norwood Castle. The low flat-topped motte is 1.5m high with a sub circular bailey to the north west, measuring internally 37m north east to south west by 26m transversely. (PastScape)

The Norwood Castle site is important as it is an outstanding example of a small motte and bailey and survives particularly well. The monument has considerable potential for the recovery of archaeological remains in addition to environmental evidence which may give an insight into the economy of people living in and around the site as well as the environment within which the monument was constructed.

The monument includes a Norman motte and bailey earthwork set on high ground overlooking a tributary of the River Thames. It comprises a low flat-topped motte 1.5m high and 20m across surrounded by a moat 0.5m deep and up to 7m wide. To the north-west of the motte is a sub-circular bailey measuring internally 37m from NE-SW and 26m from NW-SE. The bailey is defined both by an earthen bank 1.5m high and a surrounding ditch 1m deep. This remains water-filled on its south-west side. The site is described by Aubrey, an antiquarian, as 'a little citadel with a keepe hill, both moated round'. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

The main manorial centre of the large Domesday manor must have been the site near the church - Oaksey manor. Presumably this site represents a sub manor, possible one rather short lived and absorbed into main manor (it being so well preserved because of being abandoned and not redeveloped), held by a knight or serjeant for some military service. However it may just represent the centre of a holding a free tenant (there were 13 in 1299 - four of whom held a yardland) in which case we have a peasant's house dressed up to look like a small castle!

- 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 ReferenceST984944
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


  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Wessex (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 96
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 278 (slight)
  • Crowley, D.A., 1991, VCH Wiltshire Vol. 14 Malmesbury Hundred p. 179 online transcription
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 500
  • Pevsner, N. (Revised by Cherry, Bridget), 1975, Buildings of England: Wiltshire (London, Penguin) p. 363


  • Creighton, O.H., 2000, 'Early Castles in the Medieval Landscape of Wiltshire' Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine Vol. 93 p. 111 online copy
  • 1952, 'Notes' Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine Vol. 54 p. 227 online copy
  • 1930-32, Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine Vol. 45 p. 137 online copy
  • Downman, E.A. and Goddard, E.H., 1919, 'Plans of Wiltshire Earthworks' Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine Vol. 40 p. 352 online copy