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Pirton, History

Pirton’s Motte & Bailey

Several important prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon sites are known in Pirton, but it is for the medieval (AD1066-1500) monuments that the village is especially noted. The most famous is the Motte and Bailey castle, known as ‘Toot Hill’ (meaning “look out”). This comprises a large earth mound (the motte) with a water-filled ditch and two outer, defence areas (the baileys). The Grade 1 Listed parish church of St. Mary, which dates from the 11th century, also lies within one of the castle baileys.

To the south east of the castle and church is a large grassed area known as ‘The Bury’ which contains the earthwork remains of the now deserted part of the ancient village of Pirton. Long depressions are clearly visible which were once the streets of the old village and the areas of raised ground indicate the position of the houses. The site of the ancient village also extends to and can be seen in the field on the far side of Walnut Tree Road.

Both the Castle and the Bury are nationally important and are designated as Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Pirton village also contains a scheduled medieval moated site at Rectory Farm and well-preserved remains of medieval “ridge and furrow” ploughing in several of the fields that surround the village.

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