Castle motte 50m south east of St John the Baptist's Church.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013492

Date first listed: 11-Nov-1954

Date of most recent amendment: 08-Nov-1995


Ordnance survey map of Castle motte 50m south east of St John the Baptist's Church.
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. 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: Condover

National Grid Reference: SJ 47099 04458


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 south east of Stapleton church survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to its construction, date and nature of occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which it was constructed will be preserved sealed on the old ground surface beneath the motte and in the ditch fill. Such motte castles, when considered either as single monuments, or as a part of the broader medieval landscape, contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social structure of the countryside during the medieval period. In this respect the proximity of the parish church to the north west of the motte is considered of interest.


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


The monument includes the remains of a small motte castle situated on the north bank of a tributary of Cound Brook. The motte is believed to be the castle of Stapeleton-in-Legharness founded during the 12th century and which was in the custody of King John in 1207. The castle lies within the main north to south valley communication route along the Cound Brook valley south of Shrewsbury. It includes a castle mound, or motte, roughly circular in plan with a base diameter of 31m which rises 3m to a flat summit 22m in diameter. A slight hollow 2m wide and up to 0.3m deep around the north quarter of the site, through which the churchyard path runs, represents the only visible portion of the surrounding ditch. The ditch will survive as a buried feature of a similar width around the remaining sides of the mound. The eastern boundary of the churchyard crosses the motte summit and there are five grave markers set upon the part of the summit which falls within the churchyard. No bailey associated with the motte has yet been traced. The churchyard boundary fence and the five grave markers on top of the motte are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath is included.

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: 19225

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Eyton, R W, Antiquities of Shropshire, (1887), 27

End of official listing