Hampstead Norris

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte)

There are earthwork remains

NameHampstead Norris
Alternative NamesHampstead Norreys; Parkwood; Park Wood
Historic CountryBerkshire
Modern AuthorityWest Berkshire
1974 AuthorityBerkshire
Civil ParishHampstead Norreys

Medieval motte comprising conical mound situated on an eastern slope below the crest of a hill overlooks Hampstead Norris and its approaches. The motte has a diameter of 25m and is up to 4.2m high. It is surrounded by a ditch 5m wide and up to 1.7m deep. The summit is hollowed to a depth of 0.6m, possibly indicating the presence of a timber tower or palisade. (PastScape)

Although recent interpretation drawings have depicted the monument as a small motte, there is still not unanimous agreement with this view; survey work by D Greenaway recorded that the motte was only 2.5m high when measured above the original ground surface, which is not excessively high for a barrow although it is very small for a motte. His survey also found that the earthworks of the so-called Park Wood entrenchment cut the ditch of the mound and must post-date it. (West Berkshire HER)

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 ReferenceSU528760
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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 21
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 11


  • Grinsell, L.V., 1939, 'Berkshire Barrows, Part IV' Berkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 43 p. 15 (corrigenda–"I have a suspicion that this mound, which is very high, may be Norman.") download copy
  • Grinsell, L.V., 1936, 'An Analysis and List of Berkshire Barrows' Berkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 40 p. 54 ("A fine bell-barrow") download copy > http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/resources.html?berks_bas_2007]


  • Greenaway, D., 2005, Hampstead Norreys Motte (Unpublished document / SWB14634)