Brimpsfield Castle mound
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003343
Date first listed: 17-Aug-1948
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Cotswold (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 94607 12756
Motte castle 295m north of Brimpsfield Park.
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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 295m north of Brimpsfield Park survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, social, political and strategic significance, social organisation, domestic arrangements, abandonment, relationship and relative chronology with the neighbouring ‘castle’ and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 July 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.
The monument includes a motte castle situated on a sloping spur on the western upper valley side of a tributary to the River Frome. The motte survives as a flat topped oval mound measuring up to 35m long, 20m wide and 2.5m high surrounded by a ditch of up to 2.5m wide and 1.5m deep. There is a causeway across the ditch to the south east and a slight stony perimeter bank around the summit of the motte indicating a possible tower. It is believed to be the precursor to Brimpsfield Castle situated to the west and the subject of a separate scheduling.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: GC 195
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
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