Norwood Castle: a motte and bailey castle 100m north of Dean Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012048

Date first listed: 30-Nov-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Feb-1992


Ordnance survey map of Norwood Castle: a motte and bailey castle 100m north of Dean Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 14:48:02.


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

District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Oaksey

National Grid Reference: ST 98497 94453


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.

The Norwood Castle site is important as it is an outstanding example of a small motte and bailey and survives particularly well. The monument has considerable potential for the recovery of archaeological remains in addition to environmental evidence which may give an insight into the economy of people living in and around the site as well as the environment within which the monument was constructed.


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


The monument includes a Norman motte and bailey earthwork set on high ground overlooking a tributary of the River Thames. It comprises a low flat-topped motte 1.5m high and 20m across surrounded by a moat 0.5m deep and up to 7m wide. To the north-west of the motte is a sub-circular bailey measuring internally 37m from NE-SW and 26m from NW-SE. The bailey is defined both by an earthen bank 1.5m high and a surrounding ditch 1m deep. This remains water-filled on its south-west side. The site is described by Aubrey, an antiquarian, as `a little citadel with a keepe hill, both moated round'.

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: 12291

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Wiltshire, (1963), 325
Title: Tithe Map, Oaksey Source Date: 1840 Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing