Castle Hill motte and bailey, Halton


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

Lancaster (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 49966 64805

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 motte and bailey castle at Halton is one of a series of such monuments flanking the Lune valley and is thus of particular importance in contributing to an understanding of the post-conquest land settlement and development of the feudal system in the area. Its earthworks survive well and the lack of subsequent occupation on the site, particularly in the bailey, means that buried structural remains and environmental evidence will survive well.


The monument at Castle Hill consists of a truncated motte situated at the end of a promontory overlooking the River Lune. A concentric-shaped bailey lies to the NE and is separated from the motte by a shallow ditch. A rampart and ditch surround the bailey on the N, NW and NE side. The earthworks are well defined at this monument. During the 2nd World War a look-out post was built on top of the motte, the foundations of which still survive. A flagpole has also been erected on the motte. The flagpole and its concrete setting, and the foundations of the look- out post are excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath them is included.

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:
Legacy System:


Capstick, B, AM 107 (25-2-1986), (1986)
Castle Hill Motte and Bailey, Halton, Leech, P, AM 107 (17-3-1982),
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)
Oct 1978, RCT, Castle Hill, (1978)
PRN 435, Lancs SMR, Castle Hill, Halton, (1984)


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 Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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