Motte and bailey castle called Castle Dyke.
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 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. 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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 reduction to the height of the bailey on the extreme western side from terracing associated with a tennis court, Castle Dyke survives comparatively well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, use and landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 5 November 2015. This 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 known as Castle Dyke situated in High Week, Newton Abbot. It survives as an oval mound with a partially buried outer ditch and an elliptical enclosure to the south west. The motte measures 28.8m long by 24m wide at the base, is up to 6m high and has a slight hollow at the summit. The bailey measures up to 41m long by 16m wide and is defined by a bank.