Eccleston Mound

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameEccleston Mound
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCheshire
Modern AuthorityCheshire
1974 AuthorityCheshire
Civil ParishEccleston

Earthwork mound of purpose and date; claimed variously as a round barrow (of ?date), a Roman 'botontinus' or roadside exploratory mound, a medieval motte, or a civil war mount. Before 1798 it may have been in use as a tree mound. The mound measures 20m north to south and 18m east to west and is 2.5m high. (PastScape)

The mound lies at about 20m above OD on a natural knoll above the west side of the Dee valley. It is 2.5m high and 15m-20m in diameter, although much mutilated by disturbances which can all be identified as modern. Two lengths of slight bank and ditch run away east from the mound. These are of very similar character, and together with additional small scarps around the base of the west side of the mound probably formed a horseshoe-shaped area open to the east, probably a tree-stand incorporating the mound. The banks are cut by very slight drain-like features, which appear to coincide with boundaries shown on an estate map of 1798 (14a). Authority 6's ditch north-west of the mound is suggested by a sinuous, spread, south-west facing scarp, but a low backscarp and traces of ridge and furrow beyond suggest this scarp is a plough headland. The mound's date and function remain uncertain. It displays none of the particular characteristics that would enable it to be identified as a post-mill mound, garden prospect mount or ice house, although such distinctive features could be missing on account of the modern disturbance. In the early 19th century it was evidently felt to be an ancient feature. However, its size, lack of ditch, and topographical position militate against it being a motte. If the report (authority 3) of finding coins in the mound is accurate, it should be Roman or post-Roman in date. Likewise if authority 3's report of human bones from the mound is accurate this would support a funerary function, although it could also indicate that the mound was scraped up from ground that had already been used as a cemetery

In view of the proximity of the old church, such a cemetery might easily be early Christian. The mound has recently been suggested to be a Civil War mount or fieldwork (14b). The site was surveyed at 1:500 scale by R Wilson-North and D MacKay of RCHME in December 1985. The above description summarises a descriptive text deposited with the plan and other archive in the NMR. (PastScape–ref. Field Investigators Comments–Robert Wilson-North and Donnie Mackay/01-DEC-1986/OS Revision)

Gatehouse Comments

Is close to church and had marshland to east. Eccleston was the site of a ferry crossing of the Dee and the other crossing of the Dee are overlooked by castles (Aldford, Holt, Shocklach, Chester). Rescheduled as motte in 1993. 28m by 14.5m and 3m high.

- 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 ReferenceSJ414627
Latitude53.1589584350586
Longitude-2.87748003005981
Eastings341430
Northings362790
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Harris, B.E. and Thacker, A.T. (eds), 1987, VCH Cheshire Vol. 1 p. 83
  • Lloyd Laing and Jennifer Laing, 1985, The Dark Ages of West Cheshire no.6 p. 15
  • Shone, W., 1911, Prehistoric Man in Cheshire p. 55
  • Watkin, W.T., 1886, Roman Cheshire p. 46
  • Ormerod, G., 1882 (2edn), History of the County Palatine and city of Chester (London) Vol. 2 p. 584, 829 (as tumulus)
  • Ormerod, G., 1819, History of the County Palatine and city of Chester (London) Vol. 2 p. 446-50 (tenurial history) online copy

Journals

  • 1974, Cheshire Archaeological Bulletin Vol. 2 p. 10