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Motte and bailey 360m N of Harthill Bank

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Motte and bailey 360m N of Harthill Bank

List entry Number: 1011792


The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Cheshire West and Chester

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Oakmere

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 27-Oct-1972

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Nov-1991

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 13453

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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

Reasons for Designation

Motte and bailey 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-bailey 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 and bailey 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 or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. 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 sand quarrying the monument survives well, its earthworks being particularly evident. The lack of subsequent occupation of the site means buried structural remains and environmental evidence are likely to survive well.


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


The monument comprises a motte and bailey castle. It includes a central mound measuring 32m N-S x 12m E-W x 3-4m high, surrounded by an encircling ditch 1.8m deep x 7.6m wide. A horseshoe-shaped outer bank 3-4m high with an entrance at the S encircles the motte and ditch. A causeway gives access from the outer bank across the ditch to the mound on the SW side. To the SE is a raised level bailey 54.8m long x 27.4m wide. The area to the S and E has been used for sand extraction and there is evidence for this industry having encroached upon the motte. The area was referred to in 1277 as a stew (vivary) called Ocmere. A field boundary on the W of Gallowsclough Lane is excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath it 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.

Selected Sources

Capstick, B., FMW report, (1988)
Hartley, RA, AM7, (1972)
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)
Record No. 928, (1988)
Snowdon, C.A., AM 107, (1988)

National Grid Reference: SJ 56739 71870


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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1011792 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Jan-2018 at 06:37:39.

End of official listing