Motte and bailey castle with later moated site at Stonebridge Crescent
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1017252
Date first listed: 12-Jan-2000
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This copy shows the entry on 17-Dec-2018 at 03:16:25.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Solihull (Metropolitan Authority)
National Grid Reference: SP 16653 87994
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were superseded by other types of castle.
Moated sites consist of wide ditches, often water filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or other buildings. The majority of moated sites served as prestigious aristocratic residences with the provision of the moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was between about 1250 and 1350, and by far the greatest concentration is to be found in central and eastern parts of England. Around 6000 moated sites are known throughout England and they exhibit a high level of diversity in their form and size. They form a significant class of medieval monument and are important for understanding the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains. The motte and bailey castle with later moated site at Stonebridge Crescent survives well, despite some disturbance of the bailey by the construction of a modern tower block, and will preserve evidence of the construction and use of the monument as well as the accommodation provided on the motte and within the bailey. In addition the later remodelling of the bailey area and creation of a moated hall by the 14th century, and later alterations to the house continuing into the 17th century, will demonstrate the changing lifestyles of the owners over a considerable period, as well as reflecting issues such as changing fashion and rising standards of living among the aristocracy. Artefacts buried in association with the buildings will provide further insights into the lifestyle of the inhabitants and assist in dating the changes through time. Environmental deposits from within the fills of the moat and the buried land surface beneath the motte will provide evidence of its economy and further information about the surrounding agricultural regime.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of Kingshurst Castle,
a motte and bailey castle and later medieval moated hall, which was
constructed within the bailey of the castle, located on a natural eminence
above the flood plain of the River Cole, within easy reach of an early ford.
The castle is not listed as a separate estate in the Domesday survey, although
the form of the motte suggests that it was constructed during the Norman
period. The estate belonged to the De Monteford family during the Middle
Ages, and the unusual form of the earthworks has led to suggestions that the
castle may have been remodelled at a later date to form a fashionable domestic
residence. Kingshurst Hall, a late Tudor to William and Mary brick built
hall, was the last building to have survived on the moated island, until its
demolition in the 1960s.
Archaeological excavations in 1961 demonstrate that the motte was of two main
periods. The first motte was a low ditched mound, which was later heightened
and provided with an inner palisade, with large post holes suggesting a
possible tower. This was dated by pottery finds to the 13th century. The
motte measures 3m to 4m high and 10m in diameter across the summit and
approximately 20m to 25m in diameter across its base. It is surrounded by a
ditch 10m to 15m wide and up to 1.5m deep. To the north east of the motte are
the remains of the much modified bailey which was later converted to a moated
residence. The interior revetted wall of the bailey was dated by excavation to
the 14th century with later brickwork additions. The bailey measures
approximately 25m square and is surrounded by a moat measuring up to 10m wide
and 1.6m deep. The interior face of the moat is revetted with large red
sandstone blocks at the base with Tudor brick work in the upper courses. A
single arched, brick faced bridge gives access to the island across the centre
of the north eastern moat arm. The moated island rises approximately 1m above
the surrounding ground level.
Following the demolition of Kingshurst Hall in 1961, the area was landscaped.
Further features, including a large sub-circular earthwork enclosure
surrounded by ramparts and banks lying 160m to the east of the motte are
recorded on maps. Although the location of this feature can be identified,
the area has been altered by modern landscaping. It is therefore not included
in the scheduling.
Similarly the location of the demolished farm and outbuildings of the later
Kingshurst Hall which lay to the north east of the moat, cannot now be
accurately located and are not included in the scheduling. The tower block
which was inserted into the north western angle of the monument, has destroyed
all archaeological traces in its vicinity, and this area is therefore not
included in the scheduling.
All modern surfaces are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them 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: 30077
Legacy System: RSM
SMR Officers Solihull JDT, Various unpublished notes in SMR Office, site 3099
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