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Walk leader Ann Sandall during Mottes & Trenches walk, Gosport Heritage Open Days

Discovering Alverstoke’s Castle – Motte and Bailey walk

  • Post category:Blog

Did you know that Gosport had a castle? Do you know where its remains are located? Read on….

Today in Alver Valley Country Park there is no sign of a castle, but there is the remains of a Motte and Bailey. This is probably Norman, as the Normans brought new forms of military architecture, among the most important of which was the motte and bailey Castle. This had two parts: the motte, an artificial mound which had a fortified tower on top called a keep, and a bailey, which was an enclosure connected to the motte.

Today Historic England records a surrounding defensive ditch, where the south side of the castle is flanked by a marshy channel, apparently known at one time as ‘Dead Man’s Hollow’.

The motte is no more than 3.5 metres high (though it was probably higher originally) and the whole site is no more than 60 metres across. In fact it is so modest that for a long time the motte was considered to be a windmill mound or even just the upcast from gravel digging!

Historic England’s recent survey confirmed that these are indeed the remains of a medieval castle. The site is now protected as a Scheduled Monument and is currently in woodland accessible to the public, in the south of Alver Valley Country Park.

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