Castle Cob motte


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011122

Date first listed: 10-Dec-1973

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Sep-1993


Ordnance survey map of Castle Cob motte
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Nov-2018 at 12:22:42.


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

District: Cheshire West and Chester (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Manley

National Grid Reference: SJ 53385 73419


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 antiquarian investigation, Castle Cob motte survives reasonably well. It is one of a group of early post-Conquest mottes and motte and bailey castles forming a defensive system, the aim of which was to curb raids on the rich farming areas of Cheshire. Equally important was the role these sites played in imposing and demonstrating the new post-Conquest feudal order on the area.


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


The monument is Castle Cob motte. It is located on the upper slopes of a hill with commanding views to the east across the Weaver valley. The site includes a steep-sided earthen mound 19m in diameter and up to 2.8m high. The flat top of the motte measures approximately 6m in diameter. Limited antiquarian investigation found the motte to be built of black soil. A garden shed and a timber lean-to are excluded from the scheduling, as are a garden wall, a path and gateposts around the base of the motte, and stone steps and the concrete base of an old summer house on the side of the motte, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

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: 22595

Legacy System: RSM


Grosvenor Museum Chester Arch Index Card,
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)
Ordnance Survey survey Card Ref No. SJ57SW1, Ordnance Survey, Castle Hill Cob,

End of official listing