Project Leader
June Barnes
Start Date
May 13, 2014
In Progress
Team Members
Bob Whapples, David Marsh, Andrew Johnson, Marilyn Basketter, Mandy Wilson, Brian Bolton, Eden Smith and Des Hoar

Project Plan


The project is a sequel to the  “All Our Stories” project, funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund,which was completed in 2013. The full working title for that project was “Sharnbrook’s moated earthwork – castle, manor house or what?” (see Project list for initial project on Castle Close).

That project which was limited to one 2m sq trench and some augering across the ditch was completed on time and within budget . As a result of the 2013 excavation, it is clear that not only is the form of Castle Close (circular, ditched and banked) atypical of moated sites, but so also is its date. In both these respects, Castle Close is much more characteristic of a ringwork. The date and size of Castle Close places it at the later, smaller end of the range for ringworks. Castle Close is therefore now most appropriately defined not as a moated site but a ringwork, of lower-ranking seignorial status, one of many such sites which proliferated in the early 12th century (before or during the Anarchy of 1135-54 AD), probably in order to display lordly status while also bolstering the security of its occupants.

These findings  inevitably lead  to further questions about whether there were other associated structures / features just outside the moated area.

Heritage Focus

Having used the previous project to  provide capacity-building and training for our members we are now empowered to extend the investigations around the scheduled site (recognizing the 6m restriction imposed).  We plan to carry out random shovel test pit sampling around the whole of the ringwork  and use the findings to identify possible site(s) for further excavations. Any findings that need further identification will again be submitted to ACA.

The survey of the water features throughout the site will be completed.

This project is further extended to report on those new excavations outside the earthwork