Castle Hill motte and bailey castle, High Bradfield


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017612

Date first listed: 23-Mar-1927

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Jul-1991


Ordnance survey map of Castle Hill motte and bailey castle, High Bradfield
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Sheffield (Metropolitan Authority)

Parish: Bradfield

National Park: PEAK DISTRICT

National Grid Reference: SK 27157 92266


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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 monument at Castle Hill, High Bradfield, is important for being part of a settlement pattern which includes the village and the nearby motte and bailey castle on Bailey Hill. Although damaged by quarrying, enough remains of the monument for the relationship between the two castles to be examined in the future.


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


The site on Castle Hill, High Bradfield lies on a natural ridge overlooking the Loxley valley. It shares this vantage with Bailey Hill motte and bailey castle which lies some 600m to the north west, although the precise relationship between the two sites is not yet known. The monument comprises a small oval motte with a parallel sided bailey to the south-east. The bailey, measuring c.50m x c.150m, has been heavily quarried out and is steeply scarped on its south-west side. A ditch and outer rampart run below the scarp which continues north to encircle the motte. Sections of a double ditch can be seen on the north side. All walls and fencing crossing the site 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: 13244

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Yorkshire: Volume II, (1912), 26
Hunter, J, Gatty , , Hallamshire (revised edition), (1869), 461
Birch, J, 'Royal Archaeological Institute' in Programme of the Summer Meeting of the Royal Arch. Inst. 1980, (1980), 95-96

End of official listing