Mound 150yds (140m) N of church
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005339
Date first listed: 22-Jun-1969
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: County of Herefordshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SO 29136 56910
Motte castle 430m north east of Ridgebourne.
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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.
Despite some land slippage in the vicinity and tree growth the motte castle 430m north east of Ridgebourne survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, function, longevity, social, political, economic and strategic significance, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 28 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.
The monument includes a motte castle situated on a ridge on the southern valley side of the Back Brook, a major tributary to the River Arrow. The motte, known locally as ‘Kington Castle’ or ‘Castle Hill’ survives as an irregularly shaped and artificially steepened knoll surrounded by a wide shallow ditch re-used as a path.
From documentary sources Kington Castle was founded towards the end of the 11th century and had a turbulent history. The first holder of the barony containing the castle was Henry Port and it was thought the castle was established in around 1154. It was mentioned in the 1187 Pipe Roll. It remained with the Port family until Adam de Port was accused of treason in 1172 and fled into exile. The castle became a Royal stronghold until 1203 when it was granted to William de Braose. Kington was allegedly destroyed by King John in 1216. Documentary sources also record a fishpond associated with the castle.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: HE 174
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape 104954, Herefordshire SMR 350
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