Clungunford motte castle 90m north east of St Cuthbert's Church
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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This copy shows the entry on 23-Jan-2020 at 11:27:15.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SO 39561 78783
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the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other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 Clungunford survives quite well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological material relating to both its method of construction and the nature of its use 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 provide valuable information concerning the settlement pattern and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period. In this respect the proximity of the parish church which lies some 90m to the south west of the motte adds significance to the motte.
The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated on the east
bank of the River Clun in close proximity to St Cuthbert's Parish Church. It
includes a castle mound, or motte, originally circular in plan with a diameter
of approximately 28m rising to an irregular surfaced summit 3.2m high. There
are old quarrying scars on the east and south sides of the motte which distort
the shape of the mound. Around the east side of the mound are traces of a
surrounding ditch up to 10m wide and 0.3m deep, from which material for the
construction of the mound would have been quarried. This will continue as a
buried feature around the north and west sides of the motte. Immediately south
of the motte a small stream runs westwards close to the south side of the
mound. The straightness of the stream course suggests that it follows a
man-made channel which is of later date than the motte.
The southern portion of the buried ditch, south of the present course of the
stream and disturbed both by the stream and by a later sewage drain, is
excluded from the scheduling.
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:
- Legacy System:
Record no 1166,
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