Maesbury Castle
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Maesbury Castle
Maesbury Castle
Maesbury Camp Somerset Map.jpg
Plan of earthworks at Maesbury Castle
LocationCroscombe, Somerset, England
Coordinates51°13?20?N 2°33?35?W / 51.22222°N 2.55972°W / 51.22222; -2.55972Coordinates: 51°13?20?N 2°33?35?W / 51.22222°N 2.55972°W / 51.22222; -2.55972
Area2.5 hectares (6.2 acres)
BuiltIron Age
Reference no.200279[1]
Maesbury Castle is located in Somerset
Maesbury Castle
Location of Maesbury Castle in Somerset
Maesbury Castle

Maesbury Castle is an Iron Age hill fort within the parish of Croscombe on the Mendip Hills, just north of Shepton Mallet, Somerset, England. It has been listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.[2][3]

The name is derived from maes, meaning field or plain in Brythonic Welsh, and burh, meaning fort in Old English. There is also a record of the name Merksburi in 705 AD, meaning boundary fort. The area was a boundary between the Romano-British Celts and West Saxons during the period 577-652 AD, when the nearby Wansdyke fortification comprised part of the border.

The enclosure has an area of 2.5 hectares (6.2 acres), and lies at a height of 292 m (950 ft),[4] with views in many directions. This includes the Somerset Levels to Glastonbury Tor and Brent Knoll which are the closest and probably the most easily identifiable landmarks from the site. The fort has a single rampart up to 6 m high, with an outer ditch (univallate). Entrances are to the south-east and north-east (with possible outworks).

The fort and surrounding grounds are now owned by the Stevens' Family who have been farming in Somerset for over 60 years.[5]

The site rises to 292 metres (958 ft) above sea level and enables a view over the surrounding valleys and hills. The hill has not eroded as fast as the surrounding limestone as it is made of Old Red Sandstone deposited in the Devonian period approximately 400 million years ago.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Measbury Castle". National Monuments Record. English Heritage. Retrieved 2011.
  2. ^ Firth, Hannah (2007). Mendip from the air. Taunton: Somerset County Council. ISBN 978-0-86183-390-0.
  3. ^ "Maesbury Castle Hillfort, Croscombe". Somerset Historic Environment Record. Somerset County Council. Retrieved 2010.
  4. ^ Tratman, E.K. (1959). "Maesbury Castle, Somerset" (PDF). Proceedings of the University of Bristol Spelaeological Society. 8 (3): 172-178.
  5. ^ Gearing, Sue (November 2016). "Fortify yourself with this special winter circle". Mendip Times. 12 (7): 58-59.
  6. ^ Haslett, Simon K. (2010). Somerset Landscapes: Geology and landforms. Usk: Blackbarn Books. pp. 31-34. ISBN 9781456416317.

Further reading


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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