Motte SW of the church
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005383
Date first listed: 10-Sep-1935
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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)
Parish: Staunton on Arrow
National Grid Reference: SO 36966 60031
Motte castle 355m south east of Staunton Old 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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 scrub growth the motte castle 355m south east of Staunton Old Court survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, social, political, economic and strategic significance, longevity, domestic arrangements, abandonment and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 26 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.
This monument includes a motte castle situated on a slight spur above the north eastern floodplain of the River Arrow. The motte survives as a circular mound measuring approximately 44.8m in diameter at the base and up to 4.8m high with a buried outer ditch visible as a slight depression to the north only. Some sources have suggested a number of separate locations for an associated bailey although these seem to be natural features. Also noted on the motte were the foundations of a polygonal shell keep and a possible external stone staircase. It is thought that the stone keep had been completed by the 12th century at the latest.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: HE 120
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape 106483, Herefordshire SMR 341
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