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Castle Toll Saxon burgh and medieval fort

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Castle Toll Saxon burgh and medieval fort

List entry Number: 1013041

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Ashford

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Newenden

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 10-Jul-1991

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 12841

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The significance of the Castle Toll monument is considerably enhanced by the unusual superimposition of two well-preserved defensive sites which illustrate the differing response over time to a comparable military threat. Burghs were defended settlements which were established as part of a widespread scheme of defence against invading Viking armies during the reigns of King Alfred and his successors during the 9th and 10th centuries. Some, such as the example at Castle Toll, were new foundations while others involved the reorganisation of existing towns, such as at Winchester. Thirty-three burghs are named in Wessex - the main concentration of such monuments - in a document known as the Burghal Hideage. Burghs are a very rare class of monument nationally and show a wide variety of plan and design. They mark a significant stage in the development of the English town (representing the first of a number of periods in which towns were created under direct royal patronage) as well as illustrating the strategy adopted by Alfred to combat the Vikings. The smaller defensive site at Castle Toll illustrates the response made later to the same need for defence of the main river channels. This enclosure is well-documented archaeologically, having been partially excavated.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument at Castle Toll includes two defensive sites of different dates. The earlier of the two has been identified as a burgh, or defended settlement, belonging to the 9th century AD. This burgh took the form of an 8 hectare enclosure on a low peninsula which was defended primarily by the marshland of the former River Rother on three sides and by a broad bank and ditch on the southern side. Partial excavation of this southern ditch in 1971 showed that it was not completed in its intended form but was reduced in scale and remained unfinished. For much of its circuit, the ditch is now visible only as a shallow depression 8-10m across, the feature having been infilled by repeated ploughings between 1965 and 1988. One of the documentary sources for this period, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, describes the storming of an unfinished fort by Viking raiders in 892, and it has been suggested that the unfinished fort was that at Castle Toll. Set within this larger enclosure is a smaller but much stronger defensive work some 100m square with banks up to 2.3m high and a 2m deep ditch on the southern side. Part of the circuit of banking on the north side has again been lost to agricultural activities but over three-quarters of the circuit survives. A broad elevated platform of earth at the north-east corner of this enclosure is interpreted as the site of a look-out post. Evidence recovered during partial excavations in 1965 suggested that this was a fort dating from the early to mid-13th century, positioned to deter French raids up the River Rother. The fencing within the protected area is excluded from the scheduling.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Davison, B, 'Medieval Archaeology' in The Burghal Hideage Fort of Eorpeburnan, , Vol. 16, (1972), 123-7

National Grid Reference: TQ 85229 28351

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1013041 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2017 at 12:57:16.

End of official listing