Motte and bailey (Ham Castle) at Ham Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005278
Date first listed: 19-Jun-1974
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Malvern Hills (District Authority)
Parish: Clifton upon Teme
National Grid Reference: SO 73481 61952
Motte and bailey castle known as Ham Castle 170m north east of Ham Farm
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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle. The motte and bailey castle known as Ham Castle survives comparatively well. The motte and platform will contain important archaeological layers and features. The quarry ditch around the platform and the large enclosure ditch will contain buried layers and deposits containing important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction and use.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 20 May 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.
This monument includes a motte and bailey castle with a large enclosure known as Ham Castle situated on the western side of the River Terne. The monument survives as a motte mound with a surrounding platform and quarry ditch, together with a second large rectangular enclosure. The motte covers an oval area of 56m by 40m. It is up to 4m high, with a flat 25m by 16m platform at the top. The platform surrounding the motte is approximately 1m high and extends approximately 10m around the bottom of the motte and is widest at the southern edge. The quarry ditch surrounds the platform. A larger second enclosure is located to the north west of the motte. Exposed stonework visible in places represents the remnants of walling which survives elsewhere as buried remains.
Ham Castle was mentioned for the first time in 1207 when the castle was forfeited by the owners of the manor of Ham and given to Thomas de Galweya. Thomas was ordered in 1207 to deliver the castle to William de Cauntelow. A chest containing gold and silver was found here during the 17th century.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WT 279
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Books and journals
Page, W, Willis-Bund, J W (editors), The Victoria History of the County of Worcester: Volume IV, (1924), 246-255
Pastscape Monument No:- 114209 & 114212
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