Motte castle 130m north west of Staick House.
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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 river erosion the motte castle 130m north west of Staick House survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, development, longevity, function, social, political, economic and strategic significance, 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 in the valley of the River Arrow close to the northern river bank. The motte survives as a circular mound of up to 28m in diameter and 1.5m high surrounded by a largely buried ditch visible as a wide shallow feature to the north and east but buried under gardens to the south and subject to river erosion to the west. It is very similar in form to a standard motte although its small overall size has led to the suggestion of this being a medieval fortified house or manor rather than a true castle. Other alternative theories include a religious holding or manor in some way connected with the nearby Wigmore Abbey, a siege castle, a fortified strong point or a temporary castle. It is known locally as ‘Monk’s Court’ or ‘The Mound’.
Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are the subject of a separate scheduling.