SP8306 : Cymbeline's Castle - from flank of Beacon Hill

taken 5 years ago, near to Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire, Great Britain

Cymbeline's Castle - from flank of Beacon Hill
Cymbeline's Castle - from flank of Beacon Hill
Looking across at the wooded and scrubby enclosure that contains Cymbeline's Castle earthworks as viewed from the Cradle Footpath that skirts Beacon Hill.
To quote from the English Heritage listing LinkExternal link (Archive LinkExternal link ) "Cymbeline's Castle occupies a prominent position on the tip of a spur below Beacon Hill, on the northern edge of the Chiltern escarpment. This commanding location overlooks the villages of Ellesborough and Little Kimble and provides wide views across the Vale of Aylesbury. The main stronghold, a conical mound (or motte), measures about 42m in diameter and between 6m and 8m in height in relation to the natural slope of the spur. A level area on the summit, c.15m wide, indicates the dimensions of the timber tower which originally would have stood here, and there is a smaller semicircular annexe cut into the slope below the summit on the northern side."
Cymbeline's Castle & Beacon Hill
Adjacent to Beacon Hill to the west is an ancient Motte & Bailey system known as Cymbeline's Castle (or Mount). Any connection with the ancient British king - whom Shakespeare wrote a play about - is I think speculative at best. However it has been suggested that the nearby Kimbles (Little & Great) are named after him, so it does at least have some plausible link back to pre-Roman times. Although Shakespeare used the name Cymbeline (for his entirely fictional tale), this 1st Century king who ruled a large area of Southern England before the Roman invasion, is more generally known historically as Cunobelinus, though he is known also by various other names such as Cynfelyn and Kymbelinus.
The motte and bailey(s) are overgrown with impenetrable scrub - and surrounded by barbed wire, so access to the site is unfortunately not possible, however if you scale Beacon Hill, the views down to it are very good.
Cymbeline's Castle is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and there is an extensive and informative write up on the EH website here LinkExternal link
Beacon Hill itself looks an eminently suitable place for a hill fort, and it too is a Scheduled Ancient Monument as it is the site of a Bronze Age Bowl Barrow see LinkExternal link
Just south of the barrow is another S.A.M., A Pillow Mound LinkExternal link thought to be associated with the breeding of rabbits on the hill.
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SP8306, 70 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 18 April, 2015   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 28 April, 2015
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Village, Rural settlement 
Place (from Tags)
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 832 063 [100m precision]
WGS84: 51:44.9801N 0:47.7194W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 834 063
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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Other Tags
Motte and Bailey 

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Image classification(about): Geograph
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