This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Motte and bailey castle on Edburton Hill

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 castle on Edburton Hill

List entry Number: 1012171

Location

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

County: West Sussex

District: Mid Sussex

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Fulking

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Jun-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 29-Jul-1991

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 12860

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 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 the centre 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 or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. As such, and 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 castle on Edburton Hill survives well despite the mistaken efforts of 19th century barrow-diggers on the centre of the motte. It holds considerable archaeological potential for evidence of the role of such monuments during the Norman conquest in 1066 and contributes to an understanding of the Norman commanders' tactics immediately after the invasion since it lies on the path of the Norman army after the Battle of Hastings.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the earthworks and interior area of a motte and bailey castle believed to date from the immediate post-Conquest period, soon after October 1066. On the south side of the monument is a circular mound - the motte - 30m in diameter and 2m above the general ground level at its crest. The centre of the motte is scarred by a depression resulting from mistaken barrow-digging in the 19th century, but much of the motte survives intact. It is completely surrounded by a ditch some 6m wide and still nearly 1m deep, and beyond the ditch around the southern half is a low bank 0.6m high which has been truncated slightly by ploughing on the southern extremity. A horseshoe-shaped ditch joins onto the motte ditch on the north-west and north-east corners. This ditch, again some 6m wide but deeper than the motte ditch - it survives to a depth of 1.5-1.8m, defines the bailey area. On the inner edge is a strong earthen bank up to 1.2m above the interior level and therefore up to 3m above the bottom of the ditch. This bank, in places 14m across, is breached to both east and west, and the ditch is correspondingly causewayed, to allow entry into the bailey. On the outer edge is a second bank, this one slighter and diminishing to nothing around the northern side where additional defence is made unnecessary by the steep slope. The low bank which extends southward from the eastern edge of the monument is a later land division and is not included in the scheduling.

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

Other
Motte & bailey castle Edburton Hill, County monument no 3803,

National Grid Reference: TQ 23783 10988

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

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 - 1012171 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 18-Nov-2017 at 06:09:15.

End of official listing