Record Details

NHER Number:11047
Type of record:Monument
Name:Castle Hill and Hangman's Hill, Denton


This is a small medieval motte and bailey castle. The earthworks would have been completed with a timber defended structure. The earthworks of the motte and the small horseshoe bailey and ditch can still be seen. To the east is Hangman's Hill, a small mound and a rectangular enclosure cropmark that can be seen from aerial photographs. This may be spoil from the digging of an adjacent pond. A second trapezoidal enclosure was surveyed in 1884, but it has since been levelled. This may have been a deer enclosure. Additional survey in 1999 further elucidated the remains. Fragments of Roman and medieval pottery have been found here. Interpretations suggest that the castle was either built by or destroyed by the d'Albinis between 1088 and 1254.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 2650 8951
Map Sheet:TM28NE

Full description

Motte and bailey and enclosure c150 feet diameter surrounded by ditch with horseshoe-shaped earthwork. 100 yards from it to north-east a rectangular enclosure surrounded by a low bank 260 feet by 13 feet - beside this a knoll known as Hangman's Hill.
R. R. Clarke

Earthworks discovered while felling a wood. A piece of oak, possibly from a bridge support, was found.
The castle may have been destroyed by D'Albini in favour of Old Buckenham.
Information from Bryant.
Reported to the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeological Society by Mr. S. W. Rix on 2 May 1850 (S1).
See also (S2) and (S3).

1948. Casual Find
Fragment of flattish upper stone of conglomerate rotary quern - East Anglian Type.
Information from

Medieval sherds found.

Cropmarks noted.

Roman sherds found.

Medieval sherds found.

Schedule, correspondence, location map, press cutting in file, large hanging plan.

1993. Earthwork Survey.
Full survey at 1:200 carried out for National Trust.
This work is noted in (S6) and (S7).
D. Gurney (NLA), 12 December 1997. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 24 January 2017.

1999. Earthwork Survey.
Survey at 1:1000, incorporating additional information onto a reduced copy of the NAU survey of 1993.
See report (S8) for plan and further details. This site was included in (S9) and the survey is also noted in (S10).
B. Cushion (NLA), November 1999. Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 1 April 2015.

(S11) suggests that this was built by the D'Albinis between 1088 and 1254.
D. Gurney (NLA), 14 May 2003.

2005. Found in bare soil on motte.
Fifteen late 11th to 12th century pot sherds.
See list in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA), 16 January 2006.

January 2005. Metal-detecting. [1].
Roman rotary quern fragment.
3 medieval pottery sherds.
1 medieval/post-medieval pottery sherd.
Information from PAS import.
A. Beckham (HES), 3 July 2015.

Monument Types

  • BRIDGE (Unknown date)
  • LINEAR FEATURE (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • DEER PARK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval to 19th Century - 1066 AD to 1900 AD)
  • MOTTE AND BAILEY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOUND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PARK PALE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RECTANGULAR ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RINGWORK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WOOD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WOOD BANK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • QUERN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • QUERN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1200 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval to 16th Century - 1450 AD to 1600 AD)

Protected Status

  • Scheduled Monument

Sources and further reading

---Designation: [unknown]. Ancient Monuments Form. SAM Record. DNF32.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TM 28 NE 2 [2]; TM 28 NE 12.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. Volunteer help for access to castle. 27 December.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Roman. Denton [2].
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Denton [2].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Fiche: Exists.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Miscellaneous. Denton.
<S1>Article in Serial: 1855. Appendix. Extracts from the Proceedings of the Committee. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol VI pp 341-366. p 346.
<S2>Article in Serial: Hempnall, R. 1860. Norfolk Antiquities. The East Anglian or Notes and queries on subjects connected with the counties of Suffolk, Cambridge, Essex and Norfolk. Vol I No 7 p 89.
<S3>Article in Serial: Manning, C. R.. 1884. Earthworks at the 'Castle Hill', Darrow Wood, Denton, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol IX pp 335-342. pp 335-336.
<S4>Article in Serial: Kenyon, K.. 1950. Excavations at Breedon on the Hill, 1946. Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society. Vol XXVI.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1990. Eastern Daily Press. 28 March.
<S6>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. (ed.). 1994. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1993. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLII Pt I pp 115-123. p 117.
<S7>Article in Serial: Nenk, B. S., Margeson, S. and Hurley, M. 1994. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1993. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XXXVIII pp 184-293. p 234.
<S8>Unpublished Report: Cushion, B. 1999. Denton Castle SMR 11047. Earthwork Survey Report.
<S9>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 104. p 168.
<S10>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2000. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1999. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt III pp 521-543. p 525.
<S11>Monograph: Liddiard, R.. 2000. Landscapes of Lordship: Norman castles and the countryside in medieval Norfolk, 1066-1200.. British Archaeological Reports British Series. 309. pp 98-101.

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