Kimberworth motte and bailey castle

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1013469
Date first listed:
24-May-1951
Date of most recent amendment:
30-May-1991

Map

Ordnance survey map of Kimberworth motte and bailey castle
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2019. 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.

District:
Rotherham (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SK 40554 93499

Reasons for Designation

Motte and bailey 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-bailey 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 and bailey 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 or motte-and-bailey castles are recorded nationally, with examples known from most regions. 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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 Kimberworth example is an unusual and early example of its class. Whilst part of the bailey has been obscured, the surviving area and the motte are largely undisturbed and hence retain considerable archaeological information concerning the method of construction and use. The site is also closely associated with the nearby moated manor house.

Details

Kimberworth motte and bailey castle consists of an elliptical motte, orientated east-west and measuring c.40m x 15m, and a small section of bailey surviving to the south between the motte and the modern houses. Traces of the ditch surrounding the motte are also discernible to the north and west, but further remains of the bailey are now obscured by housing development. Situated on a natural rise above the River Rother, it was one of several in the region to command the Rother valley and may have dominated the manor of Kimberworth since before the Norman Conquest. After the Conquest, the manor was part of the Honour of Tickhill and held by Roger de Busli and his descendents until the mid or late thirteenth century. Some time prior to this, the site was abandoned in favour of the moated manor house, 250m downslope to the south, where an extensive complex of thirteenth century and later buildings have been recently excavated.

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:
13224
Legacy System:
RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Addy, S O, The Hall of Waltheof, (1893), 183

Legal

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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