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Castle Hill motte

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: Castle Hill motte

List entry Number: 1011868

Location

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

County: Lancashire

District: South Ribble

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Penwortham

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Nov-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Oct-1991

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 13446

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

Limited excavation at Castle Hill motte has revealed a lengthy period of occupation during which three construction phases were noted from the early medieval period until the mid 13th Century. The Norman motte was of strategic importance allowing control of movement along the Ribble valley and across an important ancient ford.

History

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

Details

The monument at Penwortham consists of a medieval motte castle strategically situated on a natural mound overlooking an ancient ford across the River Ribble. The motte lies in St Mary's churchyard NE of the church and includes a tree and scrub covered conical earthen mound having diameters of c.36.5m at the base and 7.6m across the summit. This part of the graveyard is now disused. Traces of a shallow ditch - now packed with graves - c.2.5m wide x 0.5m deep separating the motte from a bailey on the SW side survive, but the bailey is now indistinct and its site has been considerably disturbed by construction of the church and burials in the churchyard. This bailey area is not, therefore, included in the scheduling. 19th century excavations found three phases of occupation at Castle Hill with the earliest remains considered to be of early medieval origin. Penwortham Castle was named in the Domesday Survey as existing in 1086 but appears to have been allowed to fall into ruins after 1232.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 3 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Farrer, W, Brownbill, J, The Victoria History of the County of Lancashire, (1914)
Fishwick, H, 'Hist. Soc. Lancs. and Ches' in Transactions Historical Society Lancashire and Cheshire, , Vol. 17, ()
Other
Info with exhibits, Harris Museum, BRS,
Lancs. SMR. PRN 284 Penwortham Castle,
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)

National Grid Reference: SD 52453 29072

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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 - 1011868 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 23-May-2018 at 09:53:26.

End of official listing