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Pancake Hill Archaeological Project (East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire): The Site

Location of the Site

Trent Lane, East Bridgford, Nottinghamshire

SK 6867 4334

National Monument No. 23212

Pancake Hill (sometimes erroneously named Cuttle Hill) is situated at a distance of 0.5km from the village of East Bridgford on the shoulder of a river formed escarpment immediately overlooking the River Trent close to the modern bridge at Gunthorpe. Along with the actual environs of the monument two fields have been selected for survey work. The monument and the field which slopes up towards the village of East Bridgford is characterised by Mercia Mudstones geology (formerly known as Keuper Marl). The lower field, known in the past as ‘The Holm’ is covered by river alluvium and contains several palaeo-channels visible as earthworks.

Description of the Monument

The earthworks are very slight and until October 2005 had been completely overgrown with trees, scrub and rank grasses. They are interpreted by the Nottinghamshire SMR as the earthwork remains of a small motte and bailey castle. The current project seeks to enquire whether this is the case or not. A motte sits on the edge of a river formed escarpment. It is broadly speaking a conical mound 13x18m in diameter at the summit which utilises the steep natural slopes to the north-west and is separated from the bailey to the south-east by a broad ditch. The motte ditch links to a well preserved curving holloway (and possible former defensive ditch) to the south-west, however on the north-east a slight “causeway” (which may in fact prove to be a later infilling) terminates this feature. To the north-east the site is defined by a slightly curving ditch 57m long which terminates in backfill from ploughing. Beyond the ditch further to the north-east is a spit of land before the topography dips into the exaggerated holloway (and probably natural feature) of Trent Lane. A small pond or groundwater spring stands 29m immediately south-east of the north-eastern ditch. The holloway and north-eastern ditch enclose a gently sloping bailey area 39x34m in dimension. Traces of a suspected rampart are particularly evident on the south-western perimeter.
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