Bradwell castle mound: a motte and bailey castle 80m north east of St. Lawrence's Church.
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1007935
Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981
Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jan-1992
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 83194 39526
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the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other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.
Bradwell Castle mound survives comparatively well as an earthwork and is significant in understanding the historical development of the area. It is one of a group of monuments, including a moated manor house, Bradwell Abbey and the parish church, which, when considered together, give valuable indications of the social, economic and religious organisation within the medieval period.
The monument includes a small motte and bailey castle some 0.5 hectares in
area situated in close proximity to St Lawrence's Church, Old Bradwell.
Central to the monument is the motte or castle mound, which survives as a turf
covered earthwork 22m in diameter and up to 2.3m high. Depressions in the
surface of the motte are believed to have been made during attempts to
construct an air raid shelter during World War II. The remains of a once
encircling ditch survive around the west and south of the mound as a spread
hollow 5m wide and 0.3m deep, the remaining portion surviving as a buried
feature. A small bailey survives to the west of the motte, defined by a
scarp up to 0.7m high, running for a distance of 36m some 20m from the mound
edge. All buildings, boundary features and metalled surfaces are excluded
from the scheduling though the ground beneath is included.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: 19002
Legacy System: RSM
SAM record FMW report, HBMC, Bradwell castle mound,
SMR NO: 3621, Bucks SMR, Castle/Motte,
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