Tutbury Castle


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Staffordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SK 20797 28982, SK 20949 29209


Motte and bailey and enclosure castle known as Tutbury Castle.

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 centres of administration.

At Tutbury Castle the motte-and-bailey continued to be occupied and adapted as an enclosure castle. The enclosure castle continued to be a defended residence or stronghold built mainly in stone, with its walls and tower providing its principal defence. Enclosure castles are dispersed widely throughout England and are considered rare nationally. They are major medieval monument types which, belonging to the highest levels of society, frequently acted as major administrative centres and formed the foci for developing settlement patterns. Castles generally provide an emotive and evocative link to the past and can provide a valuable educational resource, both with respect to medieval warfare and defence and with respect to wider aspects of medieval society. All examples retaining significant remains of medieval date are considered to be nationally important. Tutbury Castle retains many upstanding and buried earthworks and will contain important archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its occupation of over six centuries.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 10 June 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 and bailey and later medieval castle known as Tutbury Castle situated on a natural promontory with expansive views overlooking the floodplain of the River Dove. It is situated at the north west corner of the village of Tutbury. The motte survives as a slightly triangular mound of up to 80m in diameter with a flat top and a triangular inner bailey to the north east measures up to 140m long by 100m wide. The motte and inner bailey takes advantage of a natural outcrop with a steep ridge to the north west. On the north east and south east the defences are provided by the substantial inner bailey bank and outer ditch. Two lobe-shaped outer baileys lie beyond to the north east both measuring up to 100m in length and up to 80m in width. The motte and bailey site in total covers an area of up to eight hectares. Running to the south of the motte, a linear bank and ditch earthwork is visible which may be the remains of part of the earlier Anglo-Saxon burh. The motte and bailey was built by 1071 by Henry de Ferrers, a Norman land owner who made Tutbury his central base of the Wapentake of Appletree. The site was demolished in 1175-6 and rebuilt in the 12th century, of which the remains of a chapel survive in the centre of the inner bailey and the remains of a stone keep on the motte. The north east gateway, known as John of Gaunt’s Gate, dates to the 14th century with 15th century towers, and the curtain wall also dates to the 14th century. Other later additions include the 15th century North Tower and South Tower which survive to full height. To the west of the South Tower are the former King’s Lodging dating to 1631-5 on the site of the former great hall and solar of which portions remain. A 19th century folly keep, known as Julius’s Tower, crowns the motte. The castle became Crown property in 1399 after the death of John of Gaunt, and became the administrative centre of one of the great estates of the Duchy of Lancaster and its heyday was during the reigns of Henry IV to Henry VI. During the 16th century it was reported to be in disrepair and Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned there in 1569, 1570 and 1585. At the beginning of the Civil War its defences were considerably strengthened when it was held for the Royalist cause. When it fell in 1646 it was slighted by the Parliamentarians.

The upstanding elements are also a Grade I listed building, NHLE 1374431.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
ST 22
Legacy System:


Pastscape 922069, HER DST5768 and NMR SK 22 NW2


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

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