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Parishes: V (castles)

Vowchurch: Chanstone Tumps

Historic Environment Record reference no. 1535, Ordnance Survey grid reference: SO 3656 3593

0.6km south-east of the church, on the north bank of the River Dore by the bridge leading to Chanstone Court Farm.

The larger of the two tumps is 64m in external diameter and 4.6m above the bottom of a ditch surrounding it. The outer scarp of the ditch folds back on itself towards the north on the west side, where it would seem that the river once flowed. Around the rest of the motte the ditch is to a depth of 1.7m.

On the mound, stone embedded in the surface and lying around suggests the existence of a motte. There are some buried foundations and traces of other enclosures.

The smaller of the two mounds is to the south, on the opposite side of the river. It is oval shaped, 40m in diameter and rising 1.2m above a slight ditch.

The name Chanstone is probably derived from the personal name Chanu or Chani. A Laurence Chanu is recorded in 1207 in association with the area, and a Philip Chani was a monk of nearby Dore Abbey in the 13th century. Chanstone therefore means "the estate of Chanu/Chani". (Bruce Coplestone-Crow,Herefordshire Place-Names, British Archaeological Reports British Series 214, 1989, p. 194)

Vowchurch: Lower Park Wood, motte

HER no. 1516, OS grid ref: SO 3580 3720

Vowchurch is in the Golden Valley, 2.5km south-east of Peterchurch. The site is situated on the northern side of the valley, 0.8km north-north-west of the church at the foot of a hill on which an Iron Age hillfort stood. There are still vestiges of a fortified area, most probably of 13th century date.

Description of the Lower Park Wood site today

The site crowns a low spur above the Hereford to Peterchurch road, and earthworks are still prominent when the site is viewed from the south.

The remains consist of a scarped raised platform with a summit of dimensions 40m x 38m and roughly rectangular in shape. On the south-west side this raised platform bows slightly towards the adjacent field. The summit has irregular sinkings and low indeterminate mounds. No traces of stonework can be found on the mound.

On the north and east sides there is a very wide berm or terrace in a slope of largely natural contours to the hill.

To the south-west the berm was much narrower, with further scarping below and what appears to be an unfinished ditch. Defences across the saddle of a promontory towards the north-west are extremely vague; the thickening of a hedge bank here may represent the line of the rampart. There are also slight traces of a ramp leading towards the south-west corner of the site.

The area has been ploughed and the field boundaries and features have been erased.

Vowchurch: Monnington Straddle, motte

HER no. 890, OS grid ref: SO 3825 3682

Two kilometres east of St Bartholomew's Church, on a broad natural terrace, lies an oval motte 3.4m high and 55m by 48m, with an axis of 40m north-south.

On the north and west sides the mound is surrounded by a partly wet moat, but elsewhere this has been filled in. To the west is a crescent-shaped bailey surrounded by a shallow ditch, which has a stream running through it. There are no traces of buildings within the bailey.

On the eastern side of the motte the defences have been cut away by the present farm buildings. On the south, various earthworks may suggest additional occupation.

A geophysical survey in 2000 found traces of a large rectangular stone foundation on top of the motte, and it is probable that this was once a stone tower.