Sibbertoft motte and bailey castle.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010245

Date first listed: 08-May-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jun-1992


Ordnance survey map of Sibbertoft motte and bailey castle.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 06:08:58.


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

County: Northamptonshire

District: Daventry (District Authority)

Parish: Sibbertoft

National Grid Reference: SP 69038 83166


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

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Sibbertoft is a good example of a small motte and bailey castle which is situated in an isolated position and is unusually remote from any known medieval settlement. The earthworks of the site are largely undisturbed.


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


The motte and bailey castle at Sibbertoft, known as Castle Yard, is situated 800m to the south of Marston Lodge farm and south of the dense woodland of Marston and Sibbertoft woods. Sibbertoft motte and bailey is located on the north spur of a natural hilltop, and the round flat topped mound of the motte stands approximately 3m above this hill. On its southern side the motte is bounded by a ditch 2.5m deep and 6m wide and on the northern side there is narrow ledge with a slight outer bank about 0.25m high. Within the area of the top of the motte slight depressions indicate the location of former buildings. The bailey lies to the south and south east of the motte and covers an area about 100m x 50m. A ditch 1m deep surrounds the bailey on the southern side and there is a slight inner bank 0.5m high on the south, west and east sides of the bailey. This motte and bailey is considered to have been constructed in the late 11th century or early 12th century. Outbuildings on the site are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath 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.

Legacy System number: 13675

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, , Archaeological Sites in Northamptonshire170-2

End of official listing