Ridgmont Castle Hill

Has been described as a Rejected Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are no visible remains

NameRidgmont Castle Hill
Alternative NamesRugemont Castle
Historic CountryBedfordshire
Modern AuthorityBedfordshire
1974 AuthorityBedfordshire
Civil ParishRidgmont

Hill known as Castle Hill since 16th century. No visible earthworks, except for some quarrying, and the area lay in the open fields until Enclosure. Unlikely therefore to be a castle site, but the name still needs explanation.

Site in Ridgmont village, known as Castle Hill since the 16th century. The sides of the hill fall away steeply to the north west and south west, but these slopes have been terraced for housing. A disused sand pit lies in its east side, and there is an area of ridge and furrow to the west of the hill.

No associated finds have been made and there are no clear documentary references to the siting of a castle here. The identification is therefore uncertain. (Bedfordshire HER)

No visible remains of this ancient castle now exist and the mound on which it is supposed to have stood has been levelled and nothing now remains to indicate its former importance (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Object Name Book reference ONB Rev 1900 Sheet 21 SW p10).

Rugemont Castle, the stronghold of the de Greys and their predecessors the Wahulls in the parish of Ridgmont. It is not mentioned before

the 12th C. (Williams sites Rugemont Castle to the "Intrenchments" at Brogborough Park Farm (see SP 93 NE 2), but as there is doubt as to the classification of the latter, the castle was possibly in the village of Ridgmont) (VCH).

There is no trace of a castle or castle mound at the OS published site on Castle Hill, a knoll at the NW end of a spur, separated from the

spur by a disused sand-pit on its E side.

The sides of Castle Hill fall away steeply to the NW and SW though these slopes have been terraced for housing. The summit is occupied by an allotment garden. No finds have been made, and no castle is noted on maps or documents held in Bedford Record Office

To the W of the knoll is an extensive area of rig and furrow. The only evidence for a castle therefore is (a) the good natural defensive position, (b) the name Castle Hill, (c) documentary evidence for the name Rugemont Castle, and (d) the proximity of Md agriculture.This is insufficient to enable classification as a castle site, though it seems probable (F1 NKB 08-AUG-1973). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Petre reports the site is levelled. It was on common land and he rejects it as a castle site. Was this a site where villagers played 'king of the castle'? See also Ridgmont Round House to which the documentary evidence probably refers.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSP973362
Latitude52.0160598754883
Longitude-0.583140015602112
Eastings497330
Northings236240
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Books

  • Petre, James Scott, 2012, The Castles of Bedfordshire (Lavenham: Lavenham Press for Shaun Tyas) p. 104-5 (discounted as castle)

Journals

  • Cotchin, R., 1989, 'Where was Rugemont castle?' Bedfordshire Magazine Vol. 22 no. 169 p. 1-5
  • Baker, D., 1982, 'Mottes, Moats and ringworks in Bedfordshire: Beauchamp Wadmore revisited' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 9-10 p. 35-54

Other

  • Lowerre, A.G., 2004, Placing Castles in the Conquest. Landscape, Lordship and Local Politics in the South-Eastern Midlands, 1066-1100 (PhD thesis: Boston College) p. 465