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the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other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 on the flood plain of the River Teme, 150m west of Teme
Bridge survives well and is a good example of its class. It will contain
archaeological information relating to its construction and occupation and
environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed.
Its position on the flood plain may have resulted in the preservation of
organic materials sealed in the waterlogged deposits beneath the mound and
beneath the causeway. The motte is one of a group of such monuments which lie
along the valley of the River Teme, positioned to control crossing places. As
such, it offers valuable information relating to the management of the valley
during the early medieval period.
The monument includes a small motte castle and an earthen causeway standing on
the flood plain of the River Teme. The motte is visible as a well defined
earthen mound 25m in diameter at base rising 3.6m high to a level summit 4m in
diameter. There is no ditch surrounding the mound, rather it stands on a
slight island raised 0.8m above the surrounding level of the flood plain. This
raised platform is linked to the northern edge of the flood plain by the
remains of an earthen causeway which runs from the north east edge of the
platform as a low spread bank 8m wide and 0.4m high, orientated north east to
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.