Motte at Castle Batch

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1011131
Date first listed:
15-Oct-1954
Date of most recent amendment:
25-Jan-1994

Map

Ordnance survey map of Motte at Castle Batch
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. 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.

District:
North Somerset (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
Weston-Super-Mare
National Grid Reference:
ST 36172 63707

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 at Castle Batch represents a rare survival in this area and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

Details

The monument includes a motte castle situated on a low carboniferous limestone ridge overlooking the surrounding levels. The motte, known as Castle Batch, has an artificial mound c.3m high with a maximum diameter of 42m. There is a hollow area c.1m deep within the top of the mound and there is a possible entrance situated on the north side of the monument. Surrounding the motte is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. This ditch ranges from c.8m to c.10m in width and is c.0.5m deep despite having been largely infilled over the years. There is no evidence for a bailey associated with the motte, although the surrounding area has been landscaped during the recent past, possibly obscuring further archaeological remains.

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:
22837
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Other
Suggestion of bailey on AP`s,

Legal

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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