Bury Mount is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) and has been at the heart of Towcester since medieval times. It is thought that the original motte and bailey castle (which no longer remains) were constructed by the Crown in the late 11th century as a strategic fortification. The castle would have been a symbol of power and would have had a number of uses. These are likely to have included acting as the residence of the lord of the manor’s bailiff, an encampment for troops during periods of hostility as well as providing hospitality to the lord and his entourage whilst travelling. As its defensive role diminished, Bury Mount became an important area of open green space at the centre of the town. However, over time the site fell into a state of disrepair
The project was designed by Camlin Lonsdale, a leading landscape architectural practice, and is being delivered in two stages. Phase One was completed in April 2010. It has:
- stabilised the scheduled ancient monument
- created a new access to the top of the mount via a ramp and stairway
- provided seating
- installed an historic timeline running up the circular path depicting key dates in Towcester’s history.
Phase Two will start on site once the additional design elements of the Moat Lane area are finalised. This will reduce the risk of future construction traffic damaging the Phase One scheme. This phase will deliver the rest of the landscape proposal including;
- a café terrace
- outdoor performance space
- a mosaic representing the moat that once surrounded the Mount
The open space provides a new venue for the town with a wide variety of events and uses ranging from informal play to organised outdoor events such as concerts, all in the natural amphitheatre created by the Mount. The space will provide the local community with a meeting point and will become a focus for community activities. This new green space also creates a significant heritage learning opportunity for schools and history enthusiasts.