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THE MOUNT

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  MARLBOROUGH MOUND
DESCRIPTION + /

A large mound, possibly a motte and bailey within the grounds of Marlborough College. The first documentary evidence for the existence of a castle is during the reign of King Stephen, who held it in 1139 from the Empress Matilda. It is possible that it existed earlier. Repairs and construction of a ring wall around the motte are recorded for 1209-11. Further building occurred during the reign of Henry II, including a Great Tower. The castle was in ruins by 1403. Parts of the keep and curtain wall have been identified by excavation and a Roman coin recovered. A chapel was allegedly situated within the bailey. The mound was incorporated into a garden layout during the late 17th century/early 18th century, with the construction of a summerhouse on the top and a grotto at the base. From 1273-1369 it was in possession of the queen as a dower house. There was considerable speculation that the mound has origins in the later Neolithic, by analogy with Silbury Hill, particularly since the discovery in 1912 of several red deer antler fragments within the mound, and the collection of some struck flints from the ground surface to the south and south west in the early 1920s. In 2011 a major conservation programme undertaken by the Marlborough Mound Trust included a programme of radiocarbon dating that proved the mound dates back to circa 2400 BC, and is therefore the same date as Silbury Hill.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.