Hillfort, Orszymowo
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

The hill fort in Orszymowo is an example of a well-preserved conical motte. Numerous monuments of this type, which are located relatively close to one another, are characteristic of the archaeological landscape of northern Mazovia. The archeological site in Orszymowo belongs to a cluster of earthworks in the region of Płock.

Location and description

The hill fort, known locally as the ‘Mound’, is located about 200 m to the north of the church in Orszymowo, behind the buildings of the village. It is situated on a small promontory on the right bank of the Ryksa stream, one of the tributaries of the Vistula River. It is cut through by a ditch on the southern and western side.

The hill fort has the shape of a regular mound and is approx. 40 metres in diameter at the base and approx. 6 metres in height. The hill fort is now partly a wooded wasteland.


It is referred to as ‘castrum Orzimow’ in the ‘Annals or Chronicles of the Famous Kingdom of Poland’ by Jan Długosz. According to the Chronicles, the hill fort which was the centre of power of the local feoffor during invasions of the Balts led by Duke Trojnat between 1258 and 1264.

Wojciech Szymański dates the hill fort to the 13th century. An investigation of the site, on the so-called secondary bed, revealed fragments of ceramic vessels from the 11th-12th c. and the 1st-4th c. AD (period of Roman influence).

Condition and results of archaeological research

The first inventory research and verifications of the hill fort were conducted by the Department of the Polish Archaeological Atlas (Zakład Polskiego Atlasu Archeologicznego) in 1957. Surveys under the supervision of Wojciech Szymański were carried out in 1966. In 1989, the hill fort was registered within the framework of the “Archaeological Picture of Poland” project.

In 1966, research excavations of the site were opened in the north-eastern part of the maidan, which is the inner part of the hill fort. An investigation of the centre of the mound has uncovered the remains of the building with wooden walls plastered with clay, which was destroyed by fire. The building was erected on a rectangular floor plan, on an earthwork fortified by stones. The base of the construction was at least 6 m in diameter and was concave with the deepest point at about 1.5 m. Most likely, it was a keep, which is a type of fortified tower.

The hill fort is located in the area of land being private property.

Compiled by Agnieszka Oniszczuk, National Heritage Board of Poland, 22.09.2014 r.


  • Antoniewicz J., Przyczynek do badań na problematyką grodzisk stożkowatych (Orszymowo i Wilkanowo w pow. Płockim), W. Szymański, Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej, R. XVI, 1968: [recenzja], „Rocznik Mazowiecki“, 3, 1970, pp. 430-433.
  • Szymański W., Przyczynek do badań na problematyką grodzisk stożkowatych (Orszymowo i Wilkanowo w pow. Płockim), „Kwartalnik Historii Kultury Materialnej“, R. XVI, no. 1, 1968, pp. 55-72.
  • Szymański W., Orszymowo, gmina Mała Wieś, (d. pow. Płock), woj. płockie, [in:] Grodziska Mazowsza i Podlasie (w granicach dawnego województwa warszawskiego), collective work, Wrocław - Warszawa - Kraków - Gdańsk 1974, pp. 88-89.

General information

  • Type: hillfort
  • Chronology: XIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Orszymowo
  • Location: Voivodeship mazowieckie, district płocki, commune Mała Wieś
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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