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FENNY CASTLE

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  FENNEY CASTLE
DESCRIPTION + /

A motte and bailey castle set on a small natural hill. The north-west end of the hill has been scarped into a steep-sided conical to form a motte, while the south-east end has been levelled to create a narrow bailey. Motte and bailey castles are said to be characteristic of the 11th to 13th centuries: it has been suggested that Fenny Castle may have its origins in the Anarchy or first English civil war between Stephen and Matilda (1138-53), associated with the de Tilly family. The first secure reference to the existence of the castle was in 1327, with the owner being a William atte Castle. It was then described as ruinous by William Worcestre in 1480, who noted the remains of the ground plan in the foundations. Digging in the castle unearthed a wall which defended the summit, as well as iron rings, an iron implement and pottery. It was recorded in the 19th century that part of the slope at the north-west end of the hill was removed to enable easier access around it. In the process the remains of 20 skeletons were removed; they were dated to an unspecified period before the construction of the castle. There is a local tradition that the mound was associated with King Alfred.

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