Castle Tump motte and bailey castle


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Castle Tump motte and bailey castle
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Sep-2019 at 15:22:20.


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

Forest of Dean (District Authority)
Forest of Dean (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SO 71189 29276

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 known as Castle Tump survives well as an impressive monument. Motte and bailey castles such as this proliferated after the Norman Conquest, and their distribution marks the progress of the Norman campaigns in the years after the Conquest. In addition, the earthworks of the castle will contain archaeological information and environmental evidence relating to its construction, the way of life of the inhabitants, and will preserve evidence of changes in the use of the site over time.


The monument includes a motte and bailey castle situated on high ground, known as Castle Tump. The castle was granted temporarily to William de Braose between 1148 and 1154 by Roger, Earl of Hereford. The motte was considered to be a meeting place for Botloes Hundred. The visible remains include the large mound of the motte, with the flattened area of the bailey surrounding it and extending to the south. The motte stands to about 14m, and has a flattened top about 8m in diameter. There are no signs of any structures on top of the mound, although these will survive as buried features. About 6m from the base of the motte on its north side is a bank generally about 1m high, but rising to 2m high in places, which now forms a field boundary. This was the boundary of the bailey on this side. The bailey follows the field boundary around to the south shelving off sharply beyond this. On the south side the change in levels between the bailey and the land outside is about 2.5m, and the bailey appears to have been terraced. It is reported that a double bank on the line of the bailey was removed in 1946-47. About 5m from the base of the motte on its north west side is a pond 15m long, 3m wide and about 0.7m deep, thought to be spring fed, which may be the remains of the moat which would have encircled the motte. A number of features are excluded from the scheduling; these are post and wire fences, the brick wall bounding the property on the west side and the cement and post and wire fence above it, although the ground beneath all these features is included. The house and extensions known as `Castle Tump' and its surrounding garden and outbuildings are not included in the scheduling.

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:
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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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