This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Motte castle in Keeper's Wood, 670m east of Castle Rising Castle

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Motte castle in Keeper's Wood, 670m east of Castle Rising Castle

List entry Number: 1008357

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Norfolk

District: King's Lynn and West Norfolk

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Castle Rising

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 30-Nov-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 11-May-1994

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 21330

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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 motte castle in Keeper's Wood survives well and remains an impressive monument, despite the hollow excavated into the south west side. The mound and buried ditch will retain archaeological information concerning the construction and use of the motte, which is of particular interest in relation to the 12th century castle at Castle Rising, 800m to the west. Evidence for earlier land use will also be preserved in soils buried beneath the mound.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument, which has been identified as a motte castle, includes a large earthen mound with a surrounding ditch, situated on the edge of a slope overlooking Babingley River, 400m to the north. The mound, or motte, stands to a height of c.3.5m and covers a sub-circular area with a maximum diameter of c.80m. Its top is a slightly dished platform measuring c.30m across. A ditch encircling the mound, from which material was quarried for its construction, has been mostly infilled but remains visible as a shallow, semicircular hollow c.16m wide to the south west of the mound. It will, however, survive as a buried feature. A large hollow, measuring c.5m wide and 7m deep at the bottom and c.12m wide at the top, has been excavated into the south west face of the mound.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: TF 67431 24688

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1008357 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2017 at 08:13:11.

End of official listing