Mortimer's Castle N and E of St Bartholomew's Church
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1001744
Date first listed: 20-Mar-1973
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish: Much Marcle
National Grid Reference: SO 65727 32858
Motte and bailey castle called Mortimer’s Castle, 145m north west of Phillip’s House.
Reasons for Designation
Motte and bailey castles are medieval fortifications introduced into Britain by the Normans. They comprised a large conical mound of earth or rubble, the motte, surmounted by a palisade and a stone or timber tower. In a majority of examples an embanked enclosure containing additional buildings, the bailey, adjoined the motte. Motte castles and motte-and-bailey castles acted as garrison forts during offensive military operations, as strongholds, and, in many cases, as aristocratic residences and as centres of local or royal administration. Built in towns, villages and open countryside, motte and bailey castles generally occupied strategic positions dominating their immediate locality and, as a result, are the most visually impressive monuments of the early post-Conquest period surviving in the modern landscape. Over 600 motte castles or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. As one of a restricted range of recognised early post-Conquest monuments, they are particularly important for the study of Norman Britain and the development of the feudal system. Although many were occupied for only a short period of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.
Despite some tree growth the motte and bailey castle called Mortimer’s Castle 145m north west of Phillip’s House survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, social, political, economic and strategic significance, domestic arrangements, longevity, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 19 May 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes a motte and bailey castle situated on a low spur above a tributary to the Preston Brook. The motte survives as a circular mound measuring up to 36.5m in diameter surrounded by a substantial ditch with a semi-circular inner bailey to the east defined by a scarp and outer ditch and with a further outer bailey which extends both to the north and east and is defined by a rampart bank and ditch to the north and a scarp to the east. The motte has a generally flat topped summit with a slight central depression and there are buried foundations for a shell keep. The castle was first documented as having been granted to Edmund Mortimer by Edward I in 1153.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: HE 65
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape 112100, Herefordshire SMR 478
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing