Prior to excavation, the site was surveyed with readings taken at 1m intervals, generating over 5000 points. The survey data have been the subject of a number of modelling experiments in archaeological visualisation (for example, , but most recently it has been modelled using VistaPro, a landscape visualisation package which employs fractal generation to produce highly detailed surface models (Figures ).
Such models were important aids to visualising the site, since for much of its recent history the ground has been covered with trees, blackthorn, and bramble, making more traditional methods such as aerial photography ineffective. Simple VRML models also allow the interactive exploration of the topography (Figure ).
It is quite apparent from the figures that the topography of the site is an integral element in its overall structure and form. Specific features to note include the clay rampart around the top of the motte with a break opposite the bailey where the bridge crossed the ditch, and the slightly domed interior of the motte, which constituted debris from a burnt clay-lined timber structure. Any attempt to produce an interpretative reconstruction model would have to take these and other topographical features into account – a model which did not incorporate the underlying topography and its significant changes in slope and aspect would be meaningless in this context.