Swan Hill motte
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007849
Date first listed: 20-Mar-1967
Date of most recent amendment: 04-Oct-1993
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: TA 15670 32567
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the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other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.
The Swan Hill motte survives well. Evidence of the structures which originally stood on the motte will be preserved.
The monument is the Swan Hill motte. It includes a raised earthen motte
enclosed by a single dry moat.
The motte is 1.5m high, and 20m in diameter at its base. It has a flattened
summit 13m in diameter. The summit of the mound is uneven and shows some
signs of disturbance.
The moat which encloses the motte is 15m wide and 2m deep, with a flat bottom
Limited excavations were undertaken in the 1940's on the summit of the motte
by the owner.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 21207
Legacy System: RSM
Books and journals
Le Patourel, H E J, Moated site of Yorkshire, (1973), 110
Loughlin, N, Miller, K, Survey of Archaeological Sites in Humberside, (1979), 50
CUC RC8 GH63,
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