The Marlborough Mound
Title Details

224 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

41 colour and 14 line illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

The Marlborough Mound

Prehistoric Mound, Medieval Castle, Georgian Garden

Edited by Richard Barber

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
The Marlborough Mound has recently been recognised as one of the most important monuments in the group around Stonehenge. It was also a medieval castle and a feature in a major 17th century garden. This is the first comprehensive history of this extraordinary site.
Marlborough Mound, standing among the buildings of Marlborough College, has attracted little attention until recently. Records showed it to be the motte of a Norman castle, of which there were no visible remains. The local historians and archaeologists who had investigated it had found very little in the way of archaeological evidence beyond a few prehistoric antler picks, the odd Roman coin, and a scatter of medieval pottery.
It was to be archaeology which provided the most dramatic discovery after the Mound Trust began to restore the mound in 2003. English Heritage were investigating Silbury Hill, and arranged to take cores from the Mound for dating purposes. The results were remarkable, as they showed that the Mound was almost a twin of Silbury Hill and therefore belonged to the extraordinary assembly of prehistoric monuments centred on Stonehenge.
For the medieval period, this book brings together for the first time all that we know about the castle from the royal records and from chronicles. These show that it was for a time one of the major royal castles in the land. Most of the English kings from William I to Edward III spent time here. For Henry III and his queen Eleanor of Provence, it was their favourite castle after Windsor. It marks the end of the first stage of the work of the Mound Trust, which, following the restoration, turns to its second objective of promoting public knowledge of the Mound based on scholarly research.
As to its final form as a garden mound next to the house of the dukes of Somerset, in the eighteenth century, this emerges from letters and even poems, and from the recent restoration. Much of this has been slow and painstaking work, however, involving the removal of the trees which endangered the structure of the Mound, the recutting of the spiral path and the careful replanting of the whole area with suitable vegetation. By doing this, the shape of the Mound as a garden feature has re-emerged, and can now be seen clearly.
This book marks the end of the first stage of the work of the Mound Trust, which, following the restoration, turns to its second objective of promoting public knowledge of the Mound based on scholarly research.
Preface
Barry Cunliffe

1. 'One remarkable earthen-work': The Neolithic Origins of the Marlborough Mound
Jim Leary and Joshua Pollard
Afterword: The Round Mound Project
Jim Leary, Elaine Jamieson and Phil Stastney

2. Castles and the Landscape of Norman Wessex, c. 1066-1154
Oliver H. Creighton

3. Marlborough Castle in the Middle Ages
Richard Barber

4. The Mound as a Garden Feature
Brian Dix

5. Epilogue: The Marlborough Mound Trust

Appendices
A Inquisition into the State of Marlborough Castle, 11 September 1327
B Castellum Merlebergae, by H.C. Brentnall, F.S.A.
C Constables of Marlborough Castle
D Marlborough Castle: Archaeological Findings for the Medieval Period


Bibliography
Index

RICHARD BARBER has had a huge influence on the study of medieval history and literature, as both a writer and a publisher. His first book on the Arthurian legend appeared in 1961, and his major works include The Knight and Chivalry (winner of the Somerset Maugham Award in 1971), Edward Prince of Wales and Aquitaine, The Penguin Guide to Medieval Europe and The Holy Grail: the History of a Legend which was widely praised and was translated into six languages.

Hardcover

9781783271863

August 2022

£45.00 / $65.00

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Title Details

224 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

41 colour and 14 line illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press