Woodhead Castle, Great Casterton

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry footings remains

NameWoodhead Castle, Great Casterton
Alternative NamesWoodhead Moat; Wodeheved; Wodheved
Historic CountryRutland
Modern AuthorityRutland
1974 AuthorityLeicestershire
Civil ParishGreat Casterton

Woodhead Castle is a moated ringwork with an attached bailey enclosure and an outlying fishpond. The moated ringwork measures approximately 90m x 90m in maximum dimension with arms 12m wide and 4m deep, except in the north-western corner where the moat has been enlarged and is currently waterlogged. The moat island exhibits an inner bank comprising the remains of a stone wall which survives to a height of 1m in the south-eastern area. The foundations of buildings, including a chapel, occur in the northern half of the island. There are two entrances, one on the western side and one on the eastern side leading to the outer bailey. The outer bailey is sub-rectangular in plan and is demarcated by a low bank about 5m wide which encloses an area of 80m x 70m. An entrance to the enclosure on its eastern side is aligned with the two access points of the moated ringwork. On the south side of the ringwork is a small rectangular fishpond measuring approximately 10m x 20m considered to be contemporary with the rest of the monument. Woodhead Castle is identified as being of medieval date, being visited by Edward I in 1290, and there are documentary records of a chapel and buildings on the site, which were in ruin by 1543. (Scheduling Report)

Medieval moated ringwork with attached bailey with outlying fishpond surviving as earthworks. The buildings including a chapel, ruinous in 1543, are visible as building foundations. The moated ringwork measures approximately 90m by 90m with arms 12m wide and 4m deep, except in the north-western corner where the moat has been enlarged. The moat island exhibits an inner bank and stone wall surviving to a height of 1m in the south-east area. The foundations of buildings, including a chapel, are to be seen on the north side of the island. The outer fishpond is thought to be contemporary with the monument. (PastScape)

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 ReferenceSK996116
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  • Creighton, O.H., 2000, 'The Medieval Castles of Rutland: Field Archaeology and Landscape History' Rutland Record Vol. 20 p. 415-24
  • Creighton, O.H., 1999, 'Early Castles in the Medieval Landscape of Rutland' Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 73 p. 19-33 (plan) online copy
  • Irons, E.A., 1917, 'Woodhead Castle' Annual Report of the Rutland Archaeological and Natural History Society Vol. 15 p. 50-51


  • Creighton, O.H., 1998, Castles and Landscapes: An Archaeological Survey of Yorkshire and the East Midlands (PhD Thesis University of Leicester) p. 286-9, 515-6 online copy