Reasons for Designation
Motte and bailey 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-bailey 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 and
bailey 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 or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally,
with examples known from most regions. 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were superseded by other types of castle.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 and bailey castle near Apple Dumpling Bridge is well-preserved,
remains largely undisturbed and is a good example of its class. The site will
contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the date and
method of construction of the castle, its period of use and subsequent
The monument includes a motte and bailey castle overlooking the River Alver
south of Rowner, near Gosport, and set on ground which falls from the north
towards a drain or stream at the southern edge of the site.
The motte is on the higher ground, the mound rising only 2m above the general
ground level to the north, but up to 4.5m above the bailey to the south west.
The top of the motte is 15m in diameter. A bank, up to 3m wide and rising up
to 1.5m above the surrounding ground level, loops around the bailey from the
north eastern side of the motte, terminating at a track along the west side of
the site. There is slight evidence of a ditch around the north eastern side of
the motte, but it is not visible further west and here survives only as a
The monument was first marked on early Ordnance Survey maps as a `windmill
mound' but was subsequently identified through fieldwork as a motte and bailey
castle. Its position overlooking the River Alver, and a probable river
crossing, is a typical location for this type of castle. There are no known
records of archaeological or other excavation of the site.
Excluded from the scheduling are a brick-built blockhouse in the southern part
of the bailey, all fence posts and associated fencing, barriers, gates and
signs, and the gravelled track around the western side of the monument,
although the ground beneath all of these features is included.
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.