Barby motte castle

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009512

Date first listed: 12-Feb-1958

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Jan-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Barby motte castle
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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Location

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

County: Northamptonshire

District: Daventry (District Authority)

Parish: Barby

National Grid Reference: SP 54346 70713

Summary

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Only six motte castles are known in Northamptonshire, and of these Barby is the best preserved example, with the motte mound being well-defined and surviving in good condition. The site also has considerable archaeological potential for the survival of environmental evidence from deposits sealed within the motte ditch and within the mound.

History

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

Details

Barby motte castle stands in a commanding position north of the village of Barby. The motte is an oval flat topped mound standing about 3m above the surrounding land, with a basal diameter of about 60m. The motte is surrounded by a broad flat bottomed ditch which is up to 1.5m deep. There are traces of a bank 0.5m high on the south east side of the site but earthworks of the bank and ditch on the south of the site have been heavily disturbed by modern housing development. The site is at present under grass and is used for pasture. This site, known locally as Barby Castle, is considered to be the site of the medieval manor house which was located in a defensive position, and trial excavations within the motte ditch have revealed medieval pottery. In the early nineteenth century the field in which the monument stands was known as Hall Close.

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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 13659

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Results of trial excavations, SMR Records, information from Christine Addison, (1990)

End of official listing