Motte south-west of Morley House Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1011447

Date first listed: 25-Aug-1938

Date of most recent amendment: 17-Jan-1994


Ordnance survey map of Motte south-west of Morley House Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 19-Jan-2019 at 23:14:34.


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

County: Derbyshire

District: Erewash (District Authority)

Parish: Morley

National Grid Reference: SK 39186 40998


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Although the motte south-west of Morley House Farm has been disturbed by scrub, the monument survives well and is sufficiently intact for archaeological remains relating to the structure of the motte and the associated keep to be preserved. In addition, well preserved organic and environmental remains will survive in the waterfilled ditch.


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


This monument, known locally as The Mound, is a medieval motte and includes a flat-topped conical mound surrounded by a 6-9m wide waterfilled ditch which is crossed by a causeway on the south-east side. The motte is 15m wide at its base and c.4m high and very steep-sided. A timber tower or keep would originally have stood on the motte whose top is c.5m wide. Formerly there may also have been an attached bailey or outer enclosure which would have contained ancillary buildings and pens for cattle and horses. There is no visible trace of such a feature in the ploughed fields surrounding the monument and so this area has not been included in the scheduling. The surface of the adjacent farm track is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground underneath 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: 23301

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Derby: Volume I, (1905)
Craven, D. and Drage, C., Moated Sites List, 1982, SMR

End of official listing