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Remains of a fortified manor - Zabytek.pl

Address
Tuchowicz

Location
woj. lubelskie, pow. łukowski, gm. Stanin-gmina wiejska

The surviving motte and the surrounding moat are all that remains today of a late-mediaeval motte-and-bailey castle that had once stood on this site.

It is one of the few surviving structures of this kind in the Lublin region and remains a valuable source of information about the medieval motte-and-bailey castles that had once been a common sight in this area.

Location and description

The fortified complex is located in the north-eastern part of the village known as Kolonia Tuchowicz, away from the tight clusters of buildings of which it consists (about 2 kilometres to the north-east from the village proper); the structure lies among arable fields, at the spot where a local, unpaved road branches into two. The Bystrzyca river runs approximately 150 metres east of the site when calculated in a straight line. The site is located in the southern part of an extensive promontory which projects into the Bystrzyca river valley and is surrounded by meadows from the east, south and west. The place has many local names, including “Zamczysko” (“The Burgstall”), “Okop” (“The Motte”), “Na zamku” (“Up in the Castle”) and “Stary zamek” (“The Ancient Castle”).

The fortified structure has been preserved to our times in the form of an earthen motte about 60 metres in diameter, surrounded by a moat about 3 metres deep which separates the site from the rest of the promontory from the north and the west. On the western side there are traces of an access route that had once led into the structure in the form of an easily discernible dip in the surrounding terrain. In the north-western part of the former bailey, slightly elevated above the area around it, there are remnants of stone foundations of a building which might have been a fortified manor or keep, while in the southern part of the motte there are numerous traces of illegal digging. It is believed that the fragments of the surviving walls may have been dismantled by the local residents in order to obtain building materials as late as during the period after World War II. Today, the site of the former motte-and-bailey castle remains disused and overgrown with grass, with a few trees standing around the site.

History

The fortified manor or castle existed in the area of what is now known as the village of Tuchowicz during the late Middle Ages (between the 14th and the 15th century). Due to the absence of any archaeological research data, however, these dates can only be a mere estimate. It is believed that the construction of the structure may have been funded by one of the members of the Kanimir family, the first mentions of which in written sources appear during the early 15th century.

The first mentions of the location in written sources date back to the years 1350-1351. In 1422, a mention was made of the owner of the village - Jan Kanimir from Kunradziec. According to Jan Długosz, the famous scribe, in years 1470-80 the village, referred to as Tuchoweycz, was one Gromek of the Zgraja coat of arms. In the early 16th century, the village belonged to the Kanimier brothers. According to various documents from the years 1552 and 1580, the village remained in the hands of the Kanimir family during that period as well; however, they no longer resided in Tuchowicz itself, having apparently moved to Niedźwiedzi Kierz instead. The earliest mentions of the motte-and-bailey castle date back to 1552 and even then the place is only referred to as a burgstall, i.e. a place which no longer sees any active use. As a result, one may suspect that the fortified manor or castlette was erected during the late Middle Ages - perhaps as the residence of the aforementioned Gromek - when the village has already grown in importance. One cannot rule out the possibility, however, that the place started its life as a hillfort on the site of which the new fortified manor was built in the 14th century, incorporating parts of the existing fortified structures. The early medieval artefacts discovered during the survey carried out in the course of the “Archaeological Picture of Poland” research programme in the immediate vicinity of the motte would seem to confirm this theory. The site was abandoned in the early 16th century for reasons unknown, perhaps due to a Tatar incursion. The first mentions of the site in professional literature was made by Stefan Nosek in 1951, who referred to it as an early medieval hillfort.

Condition and results of archaeological research

No archaeological excavations have been carried out on the site.

The location and height plan of the site was drawn up by Marek Kłaczyński in 1997.

Surface surveys of the site within the framework of the ‘Archaeological Picture of Poland’ project were carried out by Józef Niedźwiedź in 2003.

In the course of the “Archaeological Picture of Poland” research programme, numerous fragments of clay vessels originating from the early Middle Ages have been identified in the immediate vicinity of the site. However, no moveable artefacts have been discovered on the motte itself.

The site is open to visitors.

compiled by Ewa Prusicka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 15-10-2012.

Bibliography

  • Nosek S., Materiały do badań nad historią starożytną i wczesnośredniowieczną międzyrzecza Wisły i Bugu, “Annales UMCS” 1951, vol. VI, sec. F, 1957 (1951), p. 355
  • Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów słowiańskich, 1880-1904, Warszawa vol. XII, p. 600.
  • Wetoszka B., W średniowieczu i nowożytności /in:/ Północna Lubelszczyzna. Od pradziejów po okres nowożytny, Lublin 2003, pp. 119-134.

Category: manor houses and palaces

Protection: Register of monuments, Monuments records

Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_A_06_AR.1881, PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_E_06_AR.1794029