The Mount motte at Melton Mowbray


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010666

Date first listed: 10-Dec-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 27-Nov-1991


Ordnance survey map of The Mount motte at Melton Mowbray
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Dec-2018 at 14:34:01.


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

County: Leicestershire

District: Melton (District Authority)

National Grid Reference: SK 74780 18841


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

The motte castle is an unusual feature in the Leicestershire landscape, the site at Melton Mowbray being one of only six known sites in the county. It is well-preserved and as such retains potential for the survival of original structures within the upper part of the mound.


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


This medieval motte castle, known as "The Mount" at Mount Pleasant, is located 50m south of the main Leicester Road, at Melton Mowbray. It is separated from the medieval town of Melton Mowbray by the river Eye. The mount is a circular earthwork approximately 30m in diameter and 3m high with a flat top 12m in diameter. There is no evidence of a surrounding ditch, although it is considered likely that one would have existed. A documentary reference to a motte at Melton, dated 1364, says it was granted to the Hospital of St.Lazarus at Burton Lazars and refers to cutting down trees on the mound. A reference in 1827 to a mill at Mount Pleasant suggests a later use of the site.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 17023

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hartley, R F, The Medieval Earthworks of North-East Leicestershire, (1987), 11
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of, (1907), 275
Farnham, G F, Leicestershire Medieval Village Notes, 1930,

End of official listing