Motte and bailey castle 150m south west of Wilderley Hall


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Motte and bailey castle 150m south west of Wilderley Hall
© 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 11:30:58.


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

Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Church Pulverbatch
National Grid Reference:
SJ 43358 01703

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 south west of Wilderley Hall is a good example of its class. The motte remains in excellent condition and will contain valuable archaeological information relating to its method of construction and the period and nature of its occupation, below the ploughsoil. The two bailey enclosures, although ploughed in the past, remain intact and will contain valuable archaeological information relating to their construction and occupation, below the ploughsoil. 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 and bailey castles contribute valuable information concerning the settlement pattern, economy and social structure of the countryside during the medieval period.


The monument includes the remains of a motte and bailey castle situated on the end of a shallow spur overlooking ground falling to the east. It includes a well defined castle mound, or motte, circular in plan with a base diameter of 26m and up to 5m high with a flat summit 16m in diameter. There is a surrounding ditch approximately 6m wide and up to 1.8m deep, from which material would have been quarried for the construction of the mound. This remains visible as an earthwork around all but the south east side where it will survive as a buried feature. A bailey, which would have contained the domestic buildings associated with the castle, lies to the immediate north east of the motte and has overall dimensions of 110m north east to south west by 80m transversely. It is stepped to form two enclosures which run downhill from the motte. Although the area containing the enclosures has been ploughed in the past, the bailey earthworks remain well defined. The western enclosure, which has an internal area of approximately 0.42ha, is bounded around its south side by a strong scarp slope with an average height of 2m. Around the north side of the enclosure the earthworks can be recognised as a low spread scarp averaging 1.5m high. The east side of this inner enclosure is formed by a scarp averaging 1m high, which cuts roughly north west to south east, stepping the natural slope to form the contiguous west side of the lower enclosure. Below this the northern scarp curves around to the south to form the north eastern side of this outer enclosure before fading out into the alignment of a hedgebank, the modern boundary of the farm garden. Around the south east quarter the scarp can no longer be recognised on the surface but will survive as a buried feature. The internal area of the lower enclosure is estimated at 0.24ha. All modern hedges and fences within the area of the scheduling are excluded, 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:
Legacy System:


Record 1052,


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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