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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 called Castle Roborough survives well and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, military and social significance, use, abandonment and landscape context.
The monument includes a motte, known as Castle Roborough, situated on a ridge forming the watershed between two branches of the River Yeo. The motte survives as a circular mound which measures 30m in diameter and is up to 5m high. On the summit is a small flat area defined by a rampart which measures up to 1.8m high. The surrounding ditch is preserved as a buried feature which is crossed by a track to the south and east. The surface of the track is excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath it is included.
Sources: Devon HER:-1961
PastScape Monument No:- 34551