Wyberts Castle, Wyberton

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Other/Unknown), and also as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameWyberts Castle, Wyberton
Alternative NamesWells Slade
Historic CountryLincolnshire
Modern AuthorityLincolnshire
1974 AuthorityLincolnshire
Civil ParishWyberton

The remains of the moated site known as Wybert's Castle survive well as a series of earthworks and buried deposits. The artificial raising of the moated island above the prevailing ground level, together with the banks, will preserve earlier ground surfaces which will provide evidence of land use prior to the construction of the moat. Waterlogging in the base of the moat and ponds will preserve organic remains, such as timber, leather and seeds, which will give an insight into domestic and economic activity on the site. As a result of archaeological excavation and documentary research the date of occupation of the complex and its ownership are quite well understood.

The monument includes a medieval moated site, known as Wybert's Castle, located at the south end of Wybert Lane, about 2km east of the village of Wyberton.

The monument lies on relatively low-lying ground to the east of the present day village. The moated complex covers an area measuring 210m by 170m surrounding an island measuring approximately 180m by 120m. The island, which is raised above the level of the surrounding ground, includes a central pond linked to the moat by a channel or leat which may reflect a subdivision of the site. Excavations undertaken in 1959-1960 revealed remains of stone structures on the eastern half of the island, associated with pottery which suggested that the moated site was occupied during the 12th and 13th centuries and with some evidence that the site may have been in use until the 15th century.

The moat encloses the island to the east, south and west, and measures between 7m to 12m across with an internal bank along much of its length. The eastern half of the northern moat arm has been infilled, but survives as a buried feature; it is thought that the original access to the island may have been at the north east corner. The open section of the northern moat arm is enlarged, with a rectangular pond lying immediately to its north

This pond and that on the moated island would have provided a supply of fish and/or fowl to the manor. The ponds and some sections of the moat now contain water.

Water was formerly supplied to the moat from the south by a stream which flowed round the western and northern sides of the complex immediately outside the monument.

In 1086 there were two holdings in the area, one in the possession of Count Alan of Brittany and the other held by Guy de Craon. By the 13th century much of the land at Wyberton, possibly that which had been held by Count Alan, belonged to the earl of Richmond and was tenanted. In the 18th century the moated site was known as 'Wells Slade', suggesting that it was held by the Wells family who had a manor in Wyberton in the 14th century. Although they were not tenants it is thought that their holding at Wyberton may have descended from previously tenanted land. The name 'Wybert's Castle' is thought to be of late 19th century origin. (Scheduling Report)

It has been suggested that the de la Haye castle at Frampton, which is noticed in 1216, may be identical with the site at Wyberton (D. J. Cathcart King, Castellarium Anglicanum London 1983, 264). However, no reference to an interest in the vill has been found, and the castle is more likely to have occupied the site of the earthworks known as Multon Hall in Frampton where there are vestiges of a motte and where medieval pottery has been found. (Roffe)

Gatehouse Comments

Roffe's suggested tenurial history of the site, that this represents the holding of a sokeman (a free wealthy peasant holding land by rent not service in kind) would probably exclude this being an early castle site.

- 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 ReferenceTF335410
Latitude52.9499397277832
Longitude-0.0135300001129508
Eastings533560
Northings341020
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Paul Hudson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.

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Books

  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 69
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 148 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 264
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1964, Buildings of England: Lincolnshire (Harmondsworth) p. 718 (slight)
  • White, W., 1872 (3edn), History, Gazetteer and Directory of Lincolnshire p. 807 online copy
  • Thompson, P., 1856, The Histories and Antiquities of Boston (Boston: John Noble, jun.) p. 549 online copy

Journals

  • (Mayes), 1961, Medieval Archaeology Vol. 5 p. 327-8 online copy

Other

  • English Heritage, 1999, Scheduling record: Scheduling document 31609. MPP 33