Motte in Hall Field

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012568

Date first listed: 10-Dec-1951

Date of most recent amendment: 16-Nov-1992

Map

Ordnance survey map of Motte in Hall Field
© 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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Location

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

County: Leicestershire

District: Harborough (District Authority)

Parish: Kibworth Harcourt

National Grid Reference: SP 68074 94486

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 at Kibworth Harcourt survives in good condition and, apart from some small-scale excavation, the mound is essentially undisturbed and has considerable potential for the survival of archaeological evidence.

History

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

Details

The motte at Kibworth Harcourt is situated within the village, 40m east of the main Leicester Road. The monument comprises a flat-topped, irregularly shaped mound surrounded by a ditch. The mound measures approximately 35m in its largest dimension and up to 4m high from the bottom of the surrounding ditch. The top is an irregularly shaped area measuring a maximum of 22m. A dry ditch up to 2m deep and 8m wide surrounds the mound with the exception of the north side where it has been partly filled. An entrance causeway 6m wide is situated on the south-west side. Two large depressions on the north and south sides of the mound are the result of 19th-century excavations. Some stonework within the mound was recorded at the time of these investigations.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 17046

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
'Gents Magazine' in Gents Magazine - Untitled , , Vol. 7 pt1, (1837), 641
Cantor, L, 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Arch and Historical Society' in The Medieval Castles of Leicestershire (Volume 53), , Vol. 53, (1978), 38
Trollope, , 'Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological Society - Untitled, , Vol. 2, (1869), 244-5
Other
(1956) (ref: 69SE.AP), (1956)

End of official listing