Motte castle 150m south of Jubilee Wood, Hartham Park


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011307

Date first listed: 22-Oct-1993


Ordnance survey map of Motte castle 150m south of Jubilee Wood, Hartham Park
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2018 at 13:51:02.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Corsham

National Grid Reference: ST 85782 72388


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 at Hartham Park survives comparatively well as a good example of its class and is significant in understanding the historical development of the area. Archaeological material relating both to the structure of the motte and its occupation will survive within the mound and the surrounding ditch. Environmental material relating to the landscape in which the monument was constructed will be preserved on the old land surface sealed beneath the mound, and in the buried ditch fills.


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


The monument includes a motte castle situated on a flat hilltop above the valley of By Brook. The motte survives as a substantial mound 25m in diameter and 3.4m high built of earth and oolite rubble construction. The summit of the mound is flat with a diameter of 10m. A rectangular depression in the centre and two square concrete plinths mark the site of a water tank now removed. There is a lowering of the top of the motte on the south side approached by a stone and earth ramp, possibly associated with the water tank. There is no surface indication of the surrounding perimeter ditch from which material for the construction of the mound would have been quarried. This will however, survive as a buried feature c.2m wide. The two concrete plinths 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. 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: 19044

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Grinsell, L V, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1957), 169
NAR ST 87 SE 4,
Title: Ordnance Survey 1" Map Source Date: 1828 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:
Title: Tithe Map and Award Source Date: 1837 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing