Cusworth Motte Castle


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1010767

Date first listed: 27-Jun-1962

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Mar-1991


Ordnance survey map of Cusworth Motte Castle
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Doncaster (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Sprotbrough and Cusworth

National Grid Reference: SE 54185 03344


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Cusworth motte castle is a particularly important example owing to its good state of survival and the preservation of extensive archaeological deposits.


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


Cusworth motte castle lies in woodland adjacent the A1(M) at what was once the south-west edge of Cusworth Park. It comprises an oval motte, 20m wide west-east and 23.5m wide north-south. The motte stands c.5m above a dry ditch, c.2m deep and c.6m wide and partially filled in to the east. The castle was built in the eleventh century by either William de Warenne or Roger de Busli, both of whom were granted lands at Cusworth by William the Conqueror. In the later middle ages it was part of the Honour of Conisbrough, held by the de Warennes. In the eighteenth century, or some time earlier, the site was superseded by that of Cusworth Hall, 700m to the north-east.

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: 13253

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire: Volume II, (1912), 23
Coates, B E , The Work of Richard Woods Landscape Gardener in the West Riding of Yorkshire, (1963), 300
Magilton, J, The Doncaster District, (1977), 29-30

End of official listing