Motte castle 80m west of Shobdon Court.
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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 landscape gardening, the motte castle 80m west of Shobdon Court survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, social, political, economic, strategic and territorial significance, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 29 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 in the grounds of Shobdon Court on the lower south facing slopes of the prominent Shobdon Hill overlooking the wide valley of the Pinsley Brook. The motte survives as a circular flat topped mound measuring up to 46m in diameter and 3.6m high surrounded by a buried ditch (backfilled since 1971). This ditch originally had a causeway to the north east and an outer bank and possible horn work to the south west. The large scale of the motte has led some to suggest it might be a ringwork.
The motte lies within the Grade II registered Historic Park and Garden of Shobdon (1891) and 18th century landscaping included tree planting on the earthwork.