Motte castle south of Cock Lane


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009246

Date first listed: 18-Sep-1992


Ordnance survey map of Motte castle south of Cock Lane
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Dec-2018 at 20:31:14.


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

County: Hertfordshire

District: Broxbourne (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: TL 35585 07832


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Despite limited excavation, Cock Lane motte is well preserved and will retain archaeological evidence pertaining to the occupation of the site and environmental information relating to the economy of its inhabitants and the landscape in which they lived.


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


The motte castle south of Cock Lane is situated on a ridge 1.7km west of the River Lea and includes a mound 20m in diameter and c.3m high. Surrounding the mound is a dry ditch 8m wide and c.2.5m deep and, beyond that, a slight bank 1m wide and c.0.3m high. On the eastern side of the ditch is a modern causeway about 8m wide. The mound was subjected to limited excavation in 1901 by J Evans when a few pieces of pottery and a quern stone were found along with some charred remains. The hollow in the top of the motte extending down its southern side shows the extent of the excavation. Local legend believes that this is the location of the burial of Oddo, the eponym of Hoddesdon.

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.

Legacy System number: 20669

Legacy System: RSM


Information from NAR (No. TL 30 NE 3),

End of official listing