Bradwell castle mound: a motte and bailey castle 80m north east of St. Lawrence's Church.


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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This copy shows the entry on 08-Dec-2021 at 03:27:49.


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

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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:
Legacy System:


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