Motte and bailey castle and line of Offa's Dyke adjacent to Brompton Mill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013496

Date first listed: 19-Jun-1933

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Motte and bailey castle and line of Offa's Dyke adjacent to Brompton Mill
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2018 at 13:49:22.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Chirbury with Brompton

National Grid Reference: SO 25108 93153


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

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 motte and bailey castle north of Brompton Mill survives well and is a good example of its class. It will retain archaeological information relating to its construction, age and occupation. Environmental evidence relating to the landscape in which the monument was built will be preserved sealed on the old land surface beneath the motte and the ramparts and in the ditch fill. Such monuments when considered, either as single sites, or as part of a broader medieval landscape contribute valuable information relating to the settlement pattern, economy and social organisation of the countryside during the medieval period. Offa's Dyke which runs from the mouth of the Severn to that of the Dee, is one of the major border works of the early medieval period. The location of the motte and bailey on the alignment of the dyke at the point where it crosses an important river and the stratigraphic relationship between the castle and the dyke are of great interest and provide an insight into the controls applied to the border through a long period of time.


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


The monument includes the remains of a motte and bailey castle and the buried remains of Offa's dyke. The motte and bailey lie on the north bank of Caebitra Brook which here forms the boundary between England and Wales. It includes a substantial earthen mound, or motte, circular in plan with a base diameter of 33m standing up to 8.5m high. The level circular summit of the mound is 9m in diameter. There is a World War II Home Guard slit trench 0.8m wide cut across the summit of the motte. A well defined dry ditch 8m wide and averaging 2m deep surrounds the base of the motte. The ditch is intact, apart from some slight damage in its north west quarter. The bailey, in which the domestic buildings associated with the castle would have been protected, lies on the south east side of the motte. It is roughly triangular in plan with maximum dimensions of approximately 44m north west to south east by 40m north to south. The bailey is bounded around its south side by a well defined scarp up to 2m high with a buried outer ditch. Around its north east side the original boundary of the bailey is no longer visible but a modern field bank and hedge marks its position. The castle lies on the alignment of Offa's Dyke which approaches to within 80m south of the castle and 24m north of the castle. Although it is no longer visible as a surface feature within the area of the scheduling, archaeological evidence relating to the dyke will survive beneath the land surface below and to the west of the motte. All modern structures, boundary features and garden furniture within the area of the scheduling 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 19210

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing