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:


Ordnance survey map of Clungunford motte castle 90m north east of St Cuthbert's Church
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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

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