Motte castle 195m WNW of Llancillo Court.
Reasons for Designation
Motte 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-bai1ey 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 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 and motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. Some 100-150 examples do not have baileys and are classified as motte castles. 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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.
The motte castle 195m WNW of Llancillo Court survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, social, economic and political significance, longevity, domestic arrangements, 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 castle situated in the valley and on the south bank of a tributary to the River Monnow close to their confluence. The motte survives as a circular mound measuring up to 39m in diameter and 8m high surrounded by a dry ditch with an outer rampart bank. Around the top of the mound are the circular masonry footings of an approximately 15m in diameter structure thought to be a shell keep which also appears to have two flanking entrance towers and the footings for a garderobe to the east preserved as buried masonry features according to some sources. A topographic survey was undertaken in around 2002.