Castle Mound motte and bailey, Melling

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012456

Date first listed: 04-Mar-1953

Date of most recent amendment: 04-Jan-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Castle Mound motte and bailey, Melling
© 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.
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 - 1012456 .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 16-Oct-2018 at 02:49:02.

Location

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

County: Lancashire

District: Lancaster (District Authority)

Parish: Melling-with-Wrayton

National Grid Reference: SD 59870 71162

Summary

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-bai1ey 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 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 and motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. Some 100-150 examples do not have baileys and are classified as motte castles. 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 Melling is of particular importance as one of a group of early post-conquest (late 11th century) mottes established along the Lune valley. These sites were all of strategic importance, allowing control of movement along the river valley. More importantly, however, was their role in imposing and demonstrating the new post-conquest feudal order on the area. Its earthworks survive well and the lack of subsequent occupation on the site means buried structural remains and environmental evidence are likely to survive well.

History

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

Details

The monument at Melling consists of a conical motte with a truncated top situated on a raised knoll 22m above the River Lune floodplain. An adjoining bailey, partly obliterated by Melling church and churchyard, exists in the field to the SW. The monument lies in the garden of the former Melling vicarage and extends for a short distance into a field to the SW. The motte has been landscaped to include a terrace, retaining wall and flight of stone steps. Field boundaries and the churchyard wall are excluded from the scheduling, however, the ground beneath all these features 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.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 13412

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Lancs SMR PRN 632,
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)

End of official listing