Oxfordshire's Historic Archives

Historic Oxfordshire

Preserving and Enhancing Access to Historic Oxfordshire
Records of Archaeological Work held by the Ashmolean Museum

Site Name: Deddington

Site Location: North Oxfordshire
Related Achive: Manning and Jope

Martyn Jope excavated Deddington Castle from 1947-1951, prior to building work on the site. During the nineteenth century the site suffered from extensive stone-robbing, but the excavations still found a lot of the structural stone work.

Today the castle is a scheduled ancient monument. The inner bailey is in the guardianship of the Department of Environment and the outer bailey that of Deddington Parish Council.

The castle is located to the south-east of the town. The outer bailey of approximately 8 acres is surrounded by a large bank and ditch - single to the north and west and double to the south.

A structure existed on the site before the eleventh century. It is thought Deddington Castle may have been the caput of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. In the twelth century the inner bailey of approximately 1 acre was inserted. This inner bailey was the area excavated by E.M. Jope. The excavations were interpreted as an early twelth century curtain wall approximately 7 feet thick and a hall of circa 1160 that had been built over an early timber structure with a solar added later. The site also contained a chapel, well, gatehouse, kitchen, tower, barns and stables.

Documentary evidence mentions a dovecote and the fact that the castle was in decay by the fourteenth century. Documentary evidence also mentions that Bicester Priory purchased quantities of building stone from the site.

Percy Manning also noted evidence of a Romano-British settlement at Blackingrove Farm, "near Deddington". (This site is now classified as in Barford St Michael - see this page for more details)


H.M. Colvin (1963) A History of Deddington

R.J. Ivens, Oxoniensia XLIX, p101

E.M Jope (1946-47) "Excavations at Deddington Castle, 1947", Oxoniensia XI-XII, p167

W. Page (1906) Victoria County History of Oxfordshire, Vol II, p324

L. F. Salzman (1939) The Victoria History of Oxfordshire, Vol I, p331-2

Site Photographs

Click on picture to see a larger image
Deddington Castle
Deddington Castle looking towards the east (January 2006)
Deddington Castle
Deddington Castle looking towards the east (January 2006)
Deddington Castle
Deddington Castle looking towards the south-east (January 2006)
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