Motte castle 50m north of Village Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1012861

Date first listed: 13-Mar-1969

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Jul-1995


Ordnance survey map of Motte castle 50m north of Village Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Worthen with Shelve

National Grid Reference: SJ 32025 02303


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 50m north of Village Farm, Worthen survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to the materials and techniques used in its construction and to the date and nature of its occupation. Environmental information relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old land surface within the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte castles provide valuable information concerning the settlement pattern and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period. Worthen motte is one of a series of small motte castles strategically positioned to control side valleys on the south side of the main valley pass between Shrewsbury and Montgomery. Considered as a group each contributes important information concerning the medieval management of this important routeway between England and Wales.


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


The monument includes a motte castle situated at the north end of a steep ridge of high ground formed between tributaries of the Rea Brook. The position of the motte has been chosen for its strategic strength overlooking the valley routeway from Shrewsbury to Montgomery which lies to the north. It includes a circular motte with a base diameter of 21m standing to a height of 4m. Where exposed the interior fabric of the motte appears to be natural rock, suggesting that an existing rock outcrop has been used as the basis for the motte. The summit of the mound has been eroded to a slightly rounded profile and has a plan diameter of 9m. The remains of a surrounding ditch are visible around the north east, west and south west sides of the motte; it averages 4m in width and 1m deep.

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: 19194

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing