Motte and bailey castle near Apple Dumpling Bridge, south of Rowner


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


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

Gosport (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 58436 00100

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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


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 buried feature. 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.

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.


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

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Books and journals
Hughes, M F, 'Landscape Hist' in Hampshire Castles and the Landscape 1066-1216, (1989), 38-39
Hughes, M F, 'Landscape Hist' in Hampshire Castles and the Landscape 1066-1216, (1989), 45


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

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