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Earthen fortified complex (fortalice), site no. 1, Oszczów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

Earthen fortified complex (fortalice), site no. 1



The fortified earthwork (fortalice) is all that remains of what is believed to have been an early modern fortified manor from the 16th-17th century - one of the few surviving structures of this kind in the Lublin region which remains a valuable source of information about the local fortified residences.

Location and description

The earthen structure (fortalice) is located in the middle of the village, at the distance of about 500 metres to the north-east from the church, surrounded by the floodplains of a nameless watercourse which flows through the valley.

The earthen structure (fortalice), known locally as “Zamczysko” (The Burgstall) is an earthen mound with the surface of approximately 0.5 hectares, originally designed on a rectangular plan created by separating the tip of the promontory from its base by an artificial trench (moat); in addition, earthen bastions (roundels?) were also formed at the corners of the mound, their traces still easily discernible among the surrounding terrain. The middle part of the mound (motte) has been partially damaged due to the earthworks performed during the interwar period, when the so-called People’s House was being built, as well as due to the site being used as a burial ground during World War II. Today, the site remains disused. A monument commemorating the local residents killed during World War II stands on the site. Traces of a narrow earthen structure (causeway?) can be seen east of the fortalice; during the mid-1950s, a number of wooden logs (posts) has been extracted from this causeway.


Based on the results of archaeological studies, one may assume that both the fortifications and the residential structure (fortified manor) were built during the 16th century. The site saw the most intense period of use between the 16th and the 17th century. The building has survived into the 18th century, when it was most likely destroyed by fire.

The first mentions of the village date back to 1419, when it is known to have belonged to Mikołaj Żądło from Jeziora (Mazovian region), the cup-bearer (podczaszy) of Warsaw and the progenitor of the Oszczowski noble family. In 1444, when Oszczów remained in the hands of Paweł, Wydżga and Krystyn from Oszczów, the duke of Mazovia Władysław I issued a charter according to which the village would function on the basis of the Magdeburg Law from that moment onwards. In 1468, the first church in Oszczów was built, with Krystyn of Oszczów, Jan of Honiatyn, Mikołaj of Oskierczyce, Jan of Choroszczyce and Bielawa of Rulikowo (the latter two being most likely brothers) providing the necessary funds. The village remained in the hands of Krystyn of Oszczów (Gozdawa coat of arms), a judge of the circuit court, until 1477; in years 1538-55 the village was the property of Feliks Oszczowski, the tribune (wojski) of Horodło, while the 1578 tax register states that the owner of the surrounding lands at that time was Jan Rogalski. Towards the end of the 16th century, Oszczów was acquired by Wacław Dzieduszyski and was later inherited by his son, Rafał. In 1600, a part of the village was purchased by Gniewosz Hulewicz. In 1662, the village belonged to a man called Kołakowski. A surviving document states that in 1698 the owner of the village of Oszczów was one Mikołaj Stefan Radecki. From 1719 onwards, the village belonged to Stanisław, Michał and Kazimierz Siekierzyński, while in 1755 it was acquired by Wilhelm Mier, the alderman (starosta) of Słońsk. No references to either the foundation or the functioning of a fortified complex in Oszczów appear in the available written sources. The first mention of the site in the literature on the subject was made in 1972 by Andrzej Kutyłowski.

Condition and results of archaeological research

Archaeological research in the form of a number of a number of open pits was carried out on the site in 1971 by Andrzej Kutyłowski, Jan Gurba and Leszek Gajewski.

The location and height plan of the site was drawn up by Adam Medak.

Surface surveys of the site within the framework of the ‘Archaeological Picture of Poland’ project were carried out by Wiesław Koman in 1986.

In the course of the survey it has been determined that the surviving earthen fortifications originally surrounded a residential building which was most likely a masonry structure. This theory is confirmed by the traces of burnt material mixed with brick rubble as well as fragments of clay vessels which have been found on the site.

Unlimited access to the historic structure.

compiled by Ewa Prusicka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 14-09-2015.


  • Kutyłowski A., Oszczów, pow. Hrubieszów, stanowisko 1, “Informator Archeologiczny. Odkrycia 1970-71”, 1972, p. 88.
  • Janeczek A., Osadnictwo pogranicza polsko-ruskiego. Województwo bełskie od schyłku XIV do początku XVII w., Warsaw 1993, p. 44.
  • Niedźwiedź J., Leksykon historyczny miejscowości dawnego województwa zamojskiego, Zamość 2003, pp. 365-366.
  • Niedźwiedź E., Niedźwiedź J., Nowakowska U., Dzieje miejscowości gminy Dołhobyczów powiat hrubieszowski, Dołhobyczów-Zamość 2006, pp. 59-65.
  • Prusicka-Kołcon E., Badania archeologiczne rezydencji na południowo-wschodnich terenach Lubelszczyzny [in:] Dwory i pałace Lubelszczyzny w badaniach archeologicznych, Lublin 2011, pp. 101-132.

General information

  • Type: fortifications
  • Chronology: XVI - XVIII w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Oszczów
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district hrubieszowski, commune Dołhobyczów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland


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