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Waytemore Castle

Waytemore Castle

Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom

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Description Waytemore Castle is a ruined castle in the town of Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.. The remains are a Grade I listed structure.This began as a motte and bailey castle in the time of William the Conqueror. A rectangular great tower was added on the motte in the 12th century. It was improved in the 13th century during the reign of King John and a licence to crenellate was granted in the mid 14th century. It was slighted after the Civil War. In the 17th century it was used as a prison.Only earthworks, the large motte and foundations of a square tower can now be seen.HistorySome historians believe the mound began as a Celtic barrow, or grave mound, while others think it was a Saxon ‘buhr’, a moated and stockaded fortress adapted early in the 10th century by Edward the Elder as a defence against the invading Danes.It was previously thought that Waytemore Castle got its name from the word "wayte", thought to be Saxon, meaning a place of ambush, and "more" meaning a fen or marsh. The historian Jacqueline Cooper, however, thinks it more likely that "waite" is a corruption of "thwaite", taken from an Old Norse word which means "forest clearing". The word "marr" is another Old Norse word, meaning "boggy place". If so, then this suggests that the later built Norman castle was built on an earlier site that was cleared out of damp woodland.