Motte castle at Colebatch, 100m north of Lagden


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012854

Date first listed: 24-Sep-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 19-May-1995


Ordnance survey map of Motte castle at Colebatch, 100m north of Lagden
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Colebatch

National Grid Reference: SO 32007 87095


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 castle at Colebatch survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological material relating to its construction and occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte castles, when considered as a single site, or as part of a broader medieval landscape, provide valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social stucture of the countryside during the medieval period.


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


The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated in the valley bottom on the west side of a tributary of the River Kemp in the village of Colebatch. It includes a well defined steep sided mound with a base diameter of 22m rising 5.5m high to a rounded summit with a diameter of 5m. The surrounding ditch, from which material would have been quarried for the construction of the mound, has been almost completely filled in but remains visible as a slight surface depression up to 2.5m wide around the south west quarter of the motte and will be preserved as a buried feature of similar proportions around the remaining sides of the motte.

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.


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

Legacy System number: 19186

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing