Castle Stede motte and bailey, Hornby


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


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

Lancaster (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 58290 69755

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of time, motte castles continued to be built and occupied from the 11th to the 13th centuries, after which they were superseded by other types of castle.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 monument at Castle Stede is of particular importance as one of a group of early post-Conquest (late 11th century) mottes established along the Lune Valley. These sites were all of strategic importance, allowing control of movement along the river valley. More important, however, was their role in imposing and demonstrating the new post-Conquest feudal order on the area. It is the best example of a motte and bailey castle in Lancashire. Its earthworks survive well and the lack of subsequent occupation on the site means that buried structural remains and environmental evidence is likely to survive well. The positioning of a pill box on the site emphasises the continued strategic importance of the site in the early 20th century.


Castle Stede consists of a motte and bailey castle situated at the NW extremity of a ridge of high ground projecting to the banks of the River Lune overlooking Loyn Bridge. The monument comprises a conical motte surrounded by a ditch on three sides. To the W is an oval-shaped bailey defended by a rampart and ditch on its S side. To the N and NW a steep slope down to the river affords protection. A modern causeway, on the site of the original, gives access into the bailey, while a mound and a cutting on the W side of the motte indicates the site of access from the bailey. During World War II a pill box, which is also included in the scheduling, was constructed on the outer edge of the bailey ditch on the south side of the monument. All field boundaries 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. 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:


Books and journals
'Trans. Cumb. and West. Ant and Arch. Soc.' in Transactions Cumbria. and West Ant.and Arch. Soc., ()
Forde-Johnson, , 'Trans Cumbria and Westmorland Ant and Arch Society' in Trans Cumbria and Westmorland Ant and Arch Society, ()
Capstick, B, AM 107, (1985)
Capstick, B., AM 107, (1992)
Lancs SMR PRN 575,
Lancs SMR, SMR entry,
Leach, P.E., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Motte & Bailey Castles, (1988)


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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