South Mimms Castle

South Mimms Castle Artists Impression
Reconstruction of the Norman castle at South Mimms by Faith Vardy, Copyright London & Middlesex Archaeological Society 2013.

As many of you may know, South Mimms contains the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle. Historic England’s listing on the castle states ” South Mimms motte and bailey castle is situated on an east-facing slope overlooking the Mimmshall Brook, about 1.25km north-west of South Mimms village. It includes a motte, c.9m in height and 35m in diameter at the base, in the north-west corner of a kidney-shaped bailey which measures 125m north-south by 110m east-west and is surrounded by a bank and ditch. The entrance to the inner bailey was on the south-west side where there is now a causeway across a ditch and a break in the rampart. There are traces of an outer bailey to the south. The castle is thought to have been built by Geoffrey de Mandeville in 1141 with a licence from Matilda and was probably destroyed in 1143. Excavations carried out by J Kent in 1961-5 revealed that a timbered tower had been built on the ground with an entrance on the south and that the motte had then been constructed around the tower with spoil from the defensive ditches. Pottery from the 13th and 14th centuries was uncovered during the excavation and suggests that occupation of the site continued after the destruction of the castle.”

Following a dig at the site some years ago, London & Middlesex Archaeological Society published a paper on the castle, which included a fantastic painting by the artist Faith Vardy, which is reproduced under copy -write with the Society’s kind permission.