Motte castle 200m south-east of Wavendon Manor


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011301

Date first listed: 06-Jul-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Nov-1993


Ordnance survey map of Motte castle 200m south-east of Wavendon Manor
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Jan-2019 at 03:56:59.


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

District: Milton Keynes (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Wavendon

National Grid Reference: SP 91932 37142


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 south-east of Wavendon Manor is well preserved and a good example of its class. Archaeological material survives in the mound and environmental evidence, relating to the surrounding landscape at the time of the mound's construction, survives sealed beneath the mound and in the ditch fills.


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


The monument includes a small well defined motte castle situated on the flat top of a low hill. The motte is slightly oval, orientated north-west to south-east with dimensions of 26m by 22m. It rises to a flat summit at 3.4m with the sides of the mound eroded to give a terraced appearance. Surrounding the motte is a shallow dry ditch 5m wide and 0.9m deep, from which material was quarried during the construction of the mound. The ditch is continuous around all but the south-east quarter where it is crossed by a causewayed ramp which rises to the mound summit. Partial excavation of the site in 1963 revealed no evidence of any building on the summit of the mound with finds of pottery limited to the 13th century. The site is therefore believed to have been occupied for a short duration only and possibly represents an adulterine castle site built during the reign of Stephen. The modern structures built on the mound, including those associated with golf, are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath them 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: 19082

Legacy System: RSM


Ref card no 0685, Griffiths. R W,
Ref card no 0685, Mynard, D C,

End of official listing