Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/453

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

ANCIENT DEFENSIVE EARTHWORKS half of its circumference ; it likewise is defended by a ditch, with a rampart on the inner side ; both rampart and ditch increase in size in a curious way in their course round from south-west by south-east to north, until the bank abutting upon the fosse belonging to the mount is fully two-thirds of the height of the latter. 1 All these earthworks have suffered considerably in course of ages by denudation. Dugdale records that the mount in his day was as much as 42 feet high, and measured only 23 feet across its flat summit ; also that the ditch was then only 20 feet wide at the top, with a depth of 1 2 feet. The present measure- ments, given above, show that the mount and banks have be- come considerably re- duced in height, and the tops of ditches have also become wider in the last 250 years. Dugdale no- ticed that this natural erosion was continu- ally in progress, for he remarked that the di- mensions he gave were evidently ' much lesse than what they were at first, by Reason that the Earth is so shrunk down.' a An entrance into the courtyard at its south-east corner is possibly the original one ; at any rate it existed in Dugdale's time. As at Brinklow, there are also remains of a further and much larger enclosure at Seckington, the defences of which may have encircled, but did not join on to the inner works of moated mount and court ; for to the north- north-east and east traces of a long rampart and ditch are to be seen, the latter still containing water in parts. No signs of any masonry are ap- parent upon either the mount or the ramparts of this little fortress. These interesting earthworks have attracted the attention of many antiquaries even from the days of Queen Elizabeth, when Camden makes mention of them. 3 Some have ascribed their origin to the ancient 1 See section. Dugdale's Warm. p. 799. 3 Camden's Brit. (Gibson's ed. 1695), p. 507. 391 SECTION SECKINGTON. 3CAUEOPFCCT IQO BOO 300